Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Joey Belcher, an Owner of Sticky Rice, Found Dead

There were a bunch of rumors swirling around Twitter tonight regarding the body of a deceased male found inside an apartment at Senate Square. I held off on relating much of this info (outside of retweeting professional reporters) until now because I wanted to be sure of details (and make sure that MPD had notifed the family).

I can now confirm the rumors that the deceased was Joey Belcher, who was an owner of Sticky Rice (1224 H Street) and of Dangerously Delicious Pies (1339 H Street). My deepest condolences to the family, friends, and coworkers of Mr. Belcher. The circumstances of his death have not yet been released, but I've heard rumors of a heart attack. I hope those rumors are true, and that he died of natural causes (some of the tweets I saw made me wonder if there was a third party involved). Regardless of the cause, Mr. Belcher was well known, and well regarded, on H Street. His death is a tragedy, even more so for having come at such a young age (he was in his late 30s). Please keep those close to him in your thoughts during the holiday season.

On a related note, in these days of Twitter, and other instant social media, each of us has the ability to widely spread information. Most of us are not professionally trained journalists, and we have not undergone ethics training on the topic of what is appropriate to release, & when it is appropriate to do so. I don't know exactly when Mr. Belcher's family was notified of his death, but I do know that his death was announced on Twitter (he was named) while MPD was officially still notifying his next of kin. That shouldn't happen. As someone who has had a family member violently murdered I know that I would be not only incensed, but also deeply hurt to know that someone had tweeted about it before I learned of it. I think we all need to step back and think about the difference between what we can do, versus what we should do.  It's worth more to me to be both right, and respectful, than to be first. I think that's a good policy.


It sounds like some of the emails/tweets were slightly panicky. Mr. Belcher's death is not being investigated as a homicide.


Anonymous said...

Well Said Missy! Heart you!

Alan Page said...

The last paragraph you wrote is why I love this blog. Love it, no hyperbole. You're a better class of blogger, Inked.

Eric P. said...

Joey was a great guy and a part of the soul of H Street. He's missed in a big, big way.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for representing his friends and family. He will be missed.

Chris said...

Since this post describes some uncertainty about the circumstances of his death, I'll mention that DCist is reporting that Officer Araz Alali, a Metropolitan Police Department spokesman, says that at this time his death is not being investigated as a homicide.

MJ said...

inked, I agree completely. Someone forwarded an e-mail from Senate Square management to our block's listserv that unfortunately made things sounds much more diabolical than they really were with talk of checking all locks, increased police presence, and reminders to be diligent about safety. Not necessarily bad things, but it alluded to some sort of violent crime occurring. I know DC EMS+ can't control a stranger's tweets, but I really feel that this would've been a lot more straightforward if Pete Piringer was still on the job- the new system (or lack thereof) of communicating important incidents is broken.

Anonymous said...

Local DC restauranteur Joey Belcher, owner at 1905, Chupacabra, Sticky Rice DC and Dangerously Delicious Pies on H Street (as well as several local food trucks), died suddenly on Monday afternoon in his home of unknown causes. He was 37 years old. Among his many talents, Joey was a stunt pilot and talented musician, and owned several businesses in the mortgage and real estate industry before pursuing his passion for food and moving to DC in 2008. Revered by many and loved by many more, Joey was a pioneer, seeing vision in the H Street rehabilitation and the DC food truck scene. Originally from New Orleans, Joey's quirky, ironic humor and wonderfully warm, magnanimous nature endeared him to all who knew him. Joey is survived by his sister, Mimi, and his parents, Joe and Irene.

A public wake will be held on Friday, December 21st from 5PM - 8PM at Joseph Gawler's Sons, located at 5130 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC, 20016. A Roman Catholic funeral service will be held the following day, Saturday, December 22nd at 11AM, also at Joseph Gawler's.

Special bereavement pricing on flight and accomodations can be obtained if you are interested in attending either service. You can contact Dignity Memorial Travel Desk at 800-224-4177 and mention reference #2216. Additionally, you can click the below link to register on the online guest directory at:

pat said...

I wish the memorial was closer to H Street.

The mans life was here, if they held it at Pinckney's or

at Capital, we could then have a New Orleans Jazz funeral parade down H Street for him.

Anonymous said...

I met Joey in 2006. I lived with him for many months in California. I was devastated when I heard about his passing. He made such an impact on my life. Throughout the years I have googled to find a cause of death, but have always come up empty handed. Would it be possible for someone in the area give me an update? In my heart I know, or at least I have made myself believe I know what happened. But still his death haunts me.