Student charged with aggravated assault claims self-defense

A GW student is being held without bond until a Wednesday court hearing after he struck and kicked another GW student in the face during an altercation outside of a downtown nightclub in the early hours of Oct. 9.

Junior Chad Harris Dauman, a transfer student from the State University of New York-Albany, was arrested Tuesday night and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, which was later changed to aggravated assault by the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for D.C., for reportedly using his feet to inflict serious head injuries on another GW student, identified as senior Akeem Samuels.

When Metropolitan Police officers arrived at the scene, they found Samuels unconscious, and the suspect had fled, a police report said. Witnesses of the beating led police to Dauman, the report said.

Dauman admitted to police during an interview that he struck Samuels but said he “acted in defense of himself and the woman that was in his company” when hitting Samuels, who he said followed him, taunted him and then hit him first, the police report said. Dauman said he struck Samuels “until he eliminated the threat,” the police report stated. Dauman’s lawyer could not be contacted as of press time.

According to the police report, the two students were involved in a verbal argument about football at the 1700 block of G Street around 2:25 a.m., which resulted in Samuels being struck repeatedly by Dauman. When Samuels fell to the ground, Dauman continued to punch and kick Samuels in his face and body until he was unconscious, the report said.

Samuels was transported to GW Hospital and admitted to the intensive care unit for sustaining multiple fractures to his face and a broken jaw, the police report stated. Tracy Schario, GW director of media relations, said Thursday she believes Samuels has regained consciousness and that he is gaining strength, although he is heavily sedated. She did not have an update on his condition on Friday. A spokesperson from GW Hospital refused to comment on the situation, citing confidentiality. Samuels, a member of the Theta Delta Chi fraternity, had his 21st birthday on Saturday.

“I believe he was unconscious when they found him,” Schario said Thursday. “But my understanding is that he is doing better.”

While MPD originally charged Dauman with assault with a deadly weapon for using his feet, once the case was handed over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for D.C., they changed the charge to aggravated assault based on the details of the incident. A representative from the attorney’s office said both charges carry a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years.

At Wednesday’s status hearing, a judge will meet with the case’s prosecutor and defense attorney, a district attorney’s office representative said. A number of decisions can happen from the status hearing, including the decision of whether to take the case to trial.

Last week Schario said that when he attended SUNY-Albany, Dauman was a member of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. She said she does not believe Dauman was associated with GW’s chapter of Pi Kappa Phi.

Wesley Johnson, president of GW’s chapter of Pi Kappa Phi, said Tuesday, “At no time was this individual accepted as an official member of the George Washington chapter of Pi Kappa Phi.

–Jessica Calefati and Ryan Holeywell contributed to this report.

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