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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

Friday, October 25, 2013

British Man Sentenced To Five Years In Prison For 2009 Hammer Attack On College Campus-Defendant Fled United States For Four Years After Assault-

     WASHINGTON Mohammed Niazi, 46, of the United Kingdom, was sentenced today to five years in prison on charges stemming 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 in August 2013 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.  He was sentenced by the Honorable Stuart G. Nash.

     According to the evidence presented at trial, on Oct. 9, 2009, at about 3 p.m., Niazi entered Duques Hall, an academic building in the 2200 block of G Street NW. 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 bleeding victim stumbled out of the bathroom, 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 Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) 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 he fled the country the very next 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. He has been in custody ever since.

     In announcing the sentence, 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.


Updated February 19, 2015