Five Women Have Been Slashed with a Box Cutter in the Buttocks at Fairfax Shopping Malls: On Washington, DC Assault Charges
According to a recent story in the Washington Post, a teenager was shopping at XXI Forever at a Fairfax mall when she felt a sharp pain. She first assumed she had been jabbed with a hanger until she saw blood. This slashing marks the fifth such assault in the Washington, DC Metro area since February. It has been reported that on all five occasions, the suspect distracted the victim and then slashed her with a razor or box cutter. All five victims were females between the ages of late teens to early 20s. The attacks started on Valentine's Day. In all five incidents, the alleged attacker managed to cut through at least two layers of clothing and break the skin, but all wounds were said to be superficial, and none of the victims required hospitalization. The mall manager describe the assaults as "very unique," and stated that he had never seen anything like this before. Police say they are taking the incidents very seriously.
The suspect was caught on surveillance cameras in some of the incidents and appeared to be a heavy-set Hispanic man in his late 20s who is approximately five feet, six inches tall.
As a Washington, DC assault charges lawyer, I do get calls from people who have been accused of attacking someone with a weapon. In DC, this type of assault charge is called assault with a dangerous or deadly weapon (ADW), which is a serious felony. The US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia could also add additional charges like aggravated assault while armed (AAWA). One of the main things you will discuss with your criminal defense attorney is whether these charges are appropriate, or if the government is trying to overcharge the case to scare you into taking a bad plea deal. They do this all the time.
Another charge that may not be appropriate to your case is assault with significant injury. The prosecutor may try to show pictures to a jury of a victim bleeding even though the wounds are only superficial, and the alleged victim did not require emergency medical attention. One of the most important things your attorney can do to help defend a Washington, DC assault charge is work closely with their private investigator to find out what really happened. The police have their side of the story, and you have yours. The police report was done for the purpose of getting a conviction, and not necessary for the purpose of telling the whole truth, even if it's bad for their case.
In previous entries of this blog, I have discussed simple assault charges.