FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 16, 2013
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British Man Convicted in 2009 Hammer Attack on College Campus
-Defendant Fled United States for Four Years After Assault -
WASHINGTON - Mohammed Niazi, 45, of the United Kingdom, was found guilty by a jury yesterday of charges arising from a hammer attack on a George Washington University student in a campus bathroom, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr.
Niazi was found guilty by a jury in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia of assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with significant bodily injury, and carrying a dangerous weapon. The Honorable Stuart G. Nash scheduled sentencing for October 22, 2013.
According to the evidence presented at trial, on October 9, 2009, at approximately 3:00 p.m., Niazi entered Duques Hall, located at 2201 G Street in Northwest Washington. He entered a men’s bathroom on the second floor and began striking the victim in the back of the head with a metal hammer. The victim attempted to defend himself against Niazi, who continued the attack inside a foyer located between the hallway and the main bathroom. As the victim stumbled out of the bathroom bleeding, students rushed to his aid. Niazi fled down the stairs and out of the building.
Detectives with the George Washington University Police Department and the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department obtained images of the suspect from security video taken in Duques Hall and issued a campus-wide e-mail alert. A response to the alert led police to a coffee shop nearby where Niazi had been seen shortly before the attack. Using security video and credit card transaction records from the coffee shop, police were able to obtain Niazi=s name and his Virginia driver=s license photo.
The day after the attack, Niazi purchased an airline ticket to London and fled the country the following day. On April 4, 2013, Niazi was apprehended when he tried to travel through Panama and was returned to the United States to face charges.
U.S. Attorney Machen expressed his appreciation to the Metropolitan Police Department, the George Washington University Police Department, and the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service. U.S. Attorney Machen also commended the work of Paralegals Allison Gregory Daniels, Victim Advocate Jennifer Clark, and Litigation Technology Specialist Leif Hickling. Finally, he commended former Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Scruggs, who investigated the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Sroka, who indicted and tried the case.