FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
For Information Contact:
District Man Convicted of Assault Charges
In Attack Against Bicyclist Near Union Station
- Defendant Struck Cyclist With SUV, Later Punched Him -
WASHINGTON - Thomas Dunkel, 62, of Washington, D.C., has been found guilty of felony charges stemming from an attack against a bicyclist that took place in July 2010 in Northwest Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced today.
Dunkel was found guilty on July 2, 2012, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, of charges of assault with significant bodily injury, assault with a dangerous weapon (car), assault with a dangerous weapon (bike), and assault. The Honorable Gerald I. Fisher scheduled sentencing for Sept. 5, 2012.
According to the government’s evidence, on July 27, 2010, at about 4:30 p.m., Dunkel was driving a Toyota sport utility vehicle in the 100 block of Massachusetts Avenue NW, near Union Station, when he encountered a 22-year-old man driving a bicycle in the middle of the road.
Dunkel began to honk and yell at the cyclist to move off the roadway. He then used his SUV to assault the cyclist, ultimately striking the victim with the vehicle. Dunkel and the cyclist then exchanged words and punches at the driver’s side window of the defendant’s SUV.
Afterward, the victim picked up his bicycle and moved out of traffic toward the sidewalk. Dunkel, meanwhile, exited the SUV - leaving it in the center lane of Massachusetts Avenue. He then followed the cyclist. He took the bicycle away, lifted it above his head, and threw it at the cyclist. Dunkel then knocked the cyclist to the ground and assaulted him with his fists until a bystander intervened. After this attack, Dunkel left the scene in his SUV.
Dunkel was stopped several blocks away by U.S. Capitol Police officers and placed under arrest after being identified by eyewitnesses as the person who committed the assault. As a result of the assault, the cyclist suffered a severe injury to his foot. He later underwent surgery to have a skin graft taken from his thigh and transplanted to his foot.
In announcing the verdict, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the detectives and officers who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police. He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Donville Drummond and Bridget Harris; Litigation Technology Specialists Josh Ellen and Leif Hickling; Intelligence Analyst Shannon Alexis; Interns Tim McLaughlin, Elliot Wertheim, and Maggie Abernethy; Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Schall and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Cormac Connor, who investigated and indicted the case. Finally, he thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Sahaf, who prosecuted the case at trial.