Idania Arteaga. Courtesy of SWBID.

By Southwest Business Improvement District Staff

Southwest DC is “the place to be” and the Southwest Business Improvement District (SWBID) is a big part of that reputation.  We continue to spotlight the dedicated staff of the SWBID who are focused on making Southwest a clean, safe, vibrant community to live, work, and visit.

What started out to be a normal working day for Operations Administrator Idania Arteaga turned into an emotional encounter.  While on her way to L’Enfant Plaza near the Spy Museum, Arteaga spotted a young man climbing the barrier wall designed to prevent people from falling onto the highway. He was taking his shoes off and about to climb the wall when she gently approached him and said, “what’s going on?  I have bad days too.”  She inched forward, trying not to scare him, and when she got close, he said “I’m sorry, I don’t want to jump but I don’t know any other way.” Arteaga says that was her “go,” and that she had to do something.

 “I grabbed him by the back of his shirt and threw him to the ground,” Arteaga said.  At that point, she saw two bystanders and asked them to call 911. DC Fire and MPD officers arrived on the scene and offered to take him to a hospital, but he refused.  After talking to emergency staff, he calmed down and walked away.  She doesn’t know what happened to him, but keeps him in her prayers and hopes he is getting the help and comfort he needs. 

Arteaga says she has struggled with depression, and she wants readers to know that there’s better days and people around to help you.

“I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of Idania. She is a true definition of the word ‘leader,’” said SWBID Chief Operating Officer Andre Witt. 
So, when you’re out and about – be sure to say hello! Learn more about the SWBID by visiting https://www.swbid.org.

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