A D.C. Superior Court judge on Wednesday ordered a 19-year-old District man held in jail without bond following his arrest one day earlier for allegedly assaulting five lesbians on July 30 on the sidewalk next to the Columbia Heights Metro station.
Judge Karen Howze issued the order after prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s office charged Christian Washington with one count each of hate related simple assault and hate related threats to do bodily harm. Both charges are listed as misdemeanors.
A report of the incident prepared by an officer with the police department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit says Washington allegedly called the five women “dyke bitches” before he and an unidentified male suspect allegedly punched each of the women in the face and head.
Police said the incident took place at 14th and Irving Streets, N.W. about 3 a.m. Police said they are continuing to investigate whether others were involved in the attack.
Two of the victims told the Blade that one of the two suspects became enraged when the women politely spurned his attempt to flirt with them and one of the women informed him she was with her girlfriend. The two women said a second suspect joined in the attack and a third man who was with the attackers used his cell phone to capture the incident on video.
In a court hearing Wednesday, Washington pleaded not guilty to the two charges.
Howze scheduled a follow-up hearing on Aug. 17 to determine whether Washington should be released while awaiting trial or continue to be held. The judge set a status hearing on the case for Sept. 6.
Court records show that Washington was arrested on July 26 — four days before his alleged role in assaulting the five women — on a charge of unauthorized use of a vehicle that police say was a motor scooter. That arrest took place near the 1300 block of Columbia Rd., N.W.
A police report shows that Washington and a second man riding on the scooter with him led police on a Hollywood-style chase through streets and alleys before the men dismounted the scooter and attempted to flee on foot. The report says police apprehended Washington but the second suspect escaped.
Court records show Washington was released on his own recognizance at a July 27 court hearing after being formally charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle.
The attack against the five women drew widespread media attention when news surfaced that police officers arriving on the scene refused to take a report of the incident and released a suspect they apprehended upon their arrival.
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier released a statement calling the officers’ behavior “appalling.” She told members of the D.C. group Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence that the officers could be fired for not taking a report depending on the finding of an investigation of the incident.