Press Release back to list


"We suspect the problem is going to be really, really bad this year," says Gerard Brown of the District of Columbia Department of Health

New York, NY - April 2, 2007 - Inside Edition's Rat Patrol has turned its sights on Washington, DC and has discovered the national capitol is loaded with rats - and not just the political ones, but the four legged type. Inside Edition found the disease-carrying vermin dancing in the alleys and leaping out of trashcans behind restaurants, they even found some nesting inside parked cars. The report will be broadcast Tuesday, April 3 on W*USA9 at 4:30 pm, ET. (Check local listings for markets other than Washington, DC).

During its pre-dawn patrol, Inside Edition found rodents running wild in restaurants from DuPont Circle to trendy Adams Morgan. The DC health department has declared a war on rats baiting burrows with poison and patrolling alleys behind thousands of restaurants. And, because of two mild winters in a row, officials predict the rodent problem in Washington, DC will get much worse.

"We suspect the problem is going to be really, really bad this year," says Gerard Brown, of the District of Columbia Department of Health's Rodent Control Division.

Despite all of the efforts of the health department, Inside Edition found rodents in a number of restaurants simply by standing on the sidewalk and shining a flashlight through the window. The Rat Patrol found the worst case at the Popeye's Restaurant near Thomas Circle where half a dozen mice scurried around the floor and the counters on two different nights. The manager told Inside Edition's Senior Correspondent Matt Meagher that he was unaware of the rodents and that he'd never seen them during operating hours.

When the District of Columbia Department of Health learned about the rodents Inside Edition found, they immediately conducted their own inspections and shut down the following restaurants:

•· Popeyes, 1315 14th Street NW, Washington D.C.

•· Mixtec, 1792 Columbia Road NW, Washington, D.C.

•· Baja Fresh, 1333 New Hampshire Avenue, Washington, D.C.

Baja Fresh President James Walker released a statement to Inside Edition saying, "Baja Fresh Restaurants consider cleanliness and customer safety our number one priority." He explained that the store had been dealing with "an ongoing rodent problem" in the building in which the restaurant is located and that Baja is now taking a number of additional measures to correct the problem.

Pepe Rodriguez, who identified himself as the owner of Mexican Restaurant, Mixtec, said he was shocked at what Inside Edition found, saying he has an exterminator inspect the restaurant every week.