It was a disturbing 2 a.m. wake up call on 13th Street NW. The back end of an MPD patrol car was torched overnight near Logan Circle.
"My husband and I heard a really loud bang and saw a flash of light. I looked down. I could see the police car. The entire back of the car was engulfed in flames and there was smoke piling up," says Ilisa Horowitz.
A D.C. police officer's take-home patrol car was spray painted in the front and torched in the back.
"I heard the explosion and people yelling, calling 911," says Varun Saxena.
Sources say the officer who lives nearby heard it as well. He looked out his window and saw a man standing next to the car. When the man took off, the officer ran downstairs.
"He had an extinguisher and was trying to put out the flames, but it wasn't near enough to put out the flames," says Horowitz.
The block just south of Logan Circle is wall-to-wall apartments and condos. Resident questioned if the fire, which blew out the back windows, spread to the gas tank.
Residents say firefighters got to the scene quickly and put out the blaze. Sources say there is no doubt the car was intentionally set on fire.
"It was always parked around here," says Saxena. "I don't know why anyone would want to target a police car."
"It has always been reassuring to see it in the neighborhood and to think it was the target of vandalism, you know, it's sad," says Horowitz.
"It is incredibly frightening, especially since we are out of town," says Kirstyn Chan. "This isn't the kind of thing you would expect."
Police are following several solid leads.