Trial Date Set for Columbia Heights Altercation

Judge sets November trials for two brothers accused of attacking women July 30

by John Riley
Published on September 6, 2011, 2:57pm | Comments

Two brothers accused of attacking a group of lesbians in Columbia Heights in July appeared in D.C. Superior Court this morning for a preliminary hearing. They have been scheduled for a bench trial on Nov. 7.

Christian Washington faces charges of committing bias-related threats to bodily harm and bias-related simple assault against a member of a group of five women in the 3000 block of 14th Street NW, at 3 a.m. on July 30. His brother, Dalonte Washington, has been charged with three counts of simple assault against three members of the group.

According to charging documents, the two men followed the group of women up 14th Street from a 7-11 to the Columbia Heights Metro Station. The men were harassing and aggressively flirting with some of the women, but physically assaulted them after one woman told the two men they were not interested because they were lesbians.

After learning they were lesbians, Christian Washington said, according to the charging document: ''You fucking dyke bitches, I will kick that dyke bitches (sic) ass, I will take that dyke bitch into the alley and kick her ass.''

Appearing in front of Judge Russell F. Canan, Christian Washington's lawyer, Dennis R. Braddock, asked for another status hearing following his Aug. 31 filing of requests for more information from the government. In those requests, Braddock specifically asked the government to provide written documents, photographs, videotapes or other materials, including statements by Christian Washington and the results of any examinations or scientific tests performed on him, that have been used to determine charges against him.

Braddock also requested any prior false allegations of criminal conduct made by government witnesses or police informants, the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the victims, witnesses and informants, any information relating to potential drug or alcohol use by those parties.

In addition, Braddock asked for the results of an ongoing Metropolitan Police Department internal investigation of the incident stemming from complaints by the women that responding officers refused to file a report or make arrests.

Lastly, Braddock also asked for the name of the officer whose baton one of the women allegedly tried to grab, and of the person whose garden hose was allegedly grabbed by one of the women and used against the suspects during the altercation. Neither of those two events is mentioned in the charging documents.

Despite requests by Braddock and Dalonte Washington's lawyer, Dorsey G. Jones, for additional status hearings, Judge Canan decided to move forward with a trial date.

When asked by Canan, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gabrielle Hessman said the government was going to keep the charges against the defendants as listed.

Braddock and Jones both requested a jury trial for their clients. However, both are scheduled for bench trials on Nov. 7.

Christian Washington is also currently awaiting a felony status hearing, scheduled for Sept. 21, relating to accusations that he stole a motorbike and tried to avoid arrest. In that case, he faces charges of receiving stolen property, the unauthorized use of a vehicle, fleeing a law enforcement officer, destruction of property, reckless driving, assaulting a police officer and failing to have the appropriate permit to operate the motorbike.