Gay ANC Commissioner Charged with Assault

Could face bias enhancements for incident related to altercation over homeless man's belongings

Leo Dwyer

ANC Commissioner Leo Dwyer. (Credit: ANC 2B.)

A gay ANC Commissioner in Ward 2 has been charged with simple assault following an altercation stemming from his actions against a homeless man on 17th Street NW, according to local NBC affiliate WRC-TV (NBC 4 Washington). 

According to police charging documents, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Leo Dwyer is accused of spraying a passerby with disinfectant and hurling a racial slur at the man, who claims to have seen Dwyer “acting crazy” while he was throwing out and spraying with disinfectant the belongings of Rodney Miller, a homeless man who lives near the intersection of 17th and Corcoran Streets NW.  According to NBC 4, Fire and EMS responding to the scene of the altercation treated the passerby, who later pressed charges against Dwyer, for a skin irritation caused by the disinfectant. 

Miller told NBC 4 that he returned to his current abode around 3 a.m. on July 28 to find his belongings strewn across the street. He did not see the incident between Dwyer and the passerby, but said he had previous run-ins with Dwyer, who had thrown his belongings into the street. Miller claims Dwyer even threw his diabetes medication into the trash. 

Dwyer could potentially be charged with bias enhancements, known colloquially as “hate crime charges” related the incident. If the charges against him stick, Dwyer is found guilty, and bias is proven, the enhancements would incur additional penalties on top of the sentence handed down for the assault. D.C. law also allows enhancements for crimes committed against people who are homeless.  

Dwyer was not immediately available for comment. A search of D.C. Superior Court records did not turn up any entries for court dates or other proceedings against Dwyer. 

Dwyer was elected to the ANC 2B07 seat in 2012 and serves as the chair of the Zoning, Preservation & Development Committee for ANC 2B, which covers part of Downtown Washington and the Dupont Circle and West End neighborhoods. 

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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