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Press Release

Metro Train Attacker Sentenced to Serve Seven Years For Stabbing

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Metro Train Attacker Sentenced to Serve Seven Years For Stabbing

            WASHINGTON – Michael Harrington, 43, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced June 7, 2024, by the Honorable Maribeth Raffinan to 84 months in prison for a September 2023 attack, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Chief Michael Anzallo, of the Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD).

            Harrington pleaded guilty on March 5, 2024, to assault with intent to kill in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Based on evidence of drug and mental health issues, Harrington was permitted to enter pursuant to Alford v. North Carolina, 400 U.S. 25 (1970). Harrington agreed that the government could establish his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but did not have to admit to or recall the facts constituting the offense.

            In addition to the prison term, Judge Raffinan ordered Harrington to serve three years of supervised release and pay $100 to the Superior Court’s Crime Victims Compensation Fund.

            According to the government’s evidence, Harrington attacked the victim on a Metro train on September 3, 2023, without provocation. On that evening, the victim was riding a Metro train approaching the Navy Yard-Ball Park Station when Harrington approached her, repeatedly stabbed her in her head and body, and said he would kill her. Harrington left the victim on the train car, bleeding from stab wounds.  Police officers were called and took immediate life-saving steps to stop the bleeding before the victim was transported to the hospital in critical condition. In all, the victim sustained twelve stab wounds to her head, hip, foot, hands, and leg, but survived the assault.

            Police arrested Harrington later that evening, after he triggered a fire alarm at an apartment building in Arlington, Virginia, and was seen wielding a knife that appeared to have dried blood on the blade and matched the description of the assailant. Harrington also admitted to having had a dispute with someone on the Metro earlier that night.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Graves and Chief Anzallo commended the work of those investigating the case from the Metro Transit Police Department, with valuable assistance from the Arlington County Police Department. They acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Chester.

Updated June 10, 2024

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-496