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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 14, 2016

District Man Sentenced to Nine Years in Prison For Attacking 65-Year-Old Homeless Woman

Defendant Struck Her Repeatedly With a Baseball Bat

            WASHINGTON – Benjamin Smalls Allen III, 52, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to nine years in prison on charges stemming from a brutal assault last year of a homeless 65-year-old woman with a baseball bat, U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips announced.

            Allen was found guilty by a jury in January 2016, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, of one count of assault with a dangerous weapon (baseball bat) of a senior citizen and one count of committing the offense while he was on release in two other pending cases. The Honorable Anita Josey-Herring sentenced him to a total of 16 years in prison, but suspended seven years of that time on the condition that he later successfully complete a period of supervised probation. At sentencing, she described Allen as “a very dangerous man.”

            According to the government’s evidence, on Aug. 28, 2015, at approximately 9:15 p.m., the victim was seated in front of the tarp tent that she calls home in the area of Miriam’s Kitchen, located in the 700 block of 24th Street NW.  The victim was putting medication on the lower part of her stomach when Allen seated himself in front of her and started staring at her.

            Wanting some privacy, she asked the defendant to move down the road. Allen refused and began verbally harassing her. She then called 911, stating that a man was threatening her.  While she was still on the phone with the 911 dispatcher, the defendant announced himself by name in the background, twice stating, “Tell them my name is Benjamin Smalls Allen III.”   When she completed the 911 call, Allen asked her if she had called the police and she replied that she had.  At this time, Allen removed a metal baseball bat from his bag and struck the victim repeatedly with it, using overhead swings.

            The woman put her hands over her head to protect herself as Allen continued to strike her in the hand, elbow and knee. An eyewitness, also homeless, saw a portion of this assault. The victim sought medical treatment a few days later and was diagnosed with a closed non-displaced fracture on her right hand.  She later identified Allen as the person who assaulted her.

            At sentencing, the government noted that Allen has prior convictions for assault with intent to kill, criminal sexual conduct in the third-degree, burglary and grand larceny.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Phillips commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Crystal Waddy; Victim/Witness Coordinator Tonya Jones; Victim/Witness Advocate Diana Lim, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Allessandra Stewart and Melissa Jackson, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Press Release Number: 
16-041
Updated March 14, 2016