Man attacks grad student with hammer

A graduate student was attacked by a hammer-wielding assailant in a bathroom on the second floor of Duques Hall Friday, according to a Metropolitan Police Department report.

The student was using a urinal when the suspect – a bald and possibly Middle Eastern man between 25 and 40 years old – came out of one of the stalls, stood behind the student and hit him in the back of the head with a hammer, according to a Metropolitan Police report. The attack was an isolated incident and is under investigation, MPD Commander Matthew Klein said in a statement.

The student, whose name is being withheld because he was the victim of an assault, was transported to GW Hospital for a major, but non-life-threatening head injury and was able to provide information about the suspect to MPD officers, Klein said. A spokesperson at the hospital could not be reached for comment, but the student has been released from the hospital, according to the MPD report.

Senior Carolyn Lee said she was in a business administration class on the second floor when someone yelled from outside the classroom, “someone stop that guy, he just hit someone in the back of the head with a hammer.”

“We didn’t know if someone was just saying it or if someone was actually hurt. None of us knew what to do,” Lee said. “Our teacher went out and when he came back he said the guy was getting taken care of. There were police officers everywhere and the guy got brought out on a stretcher.”

GW issued a handful of Infomail e-mails about the incident, issuing photographs of the suspect captured from a security camera a few hours after the assault.

According to an Infomail, there has been no evidence to indicate the victim and suspect knew one another, and the incident appears to have been a random act of violence. The description of the suspect is listed as a bald male, possibly of Middle Eastern descent, between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet tall with a stocky build. He was described as wearing three-quarter-length, light-colored pants, a long-sleeve, dark-colored shirt and carrying a backpack.

Immediately following the attack, MPD officers blocked off access to the second floor with yellow police tape for several hours, and students on that floor were asked to move elsewhere. Despite the crime scene, the building was still accessible to students throughout the day.

Junior Pete Shambora said he was on the second floor around 4 p.m., after the assault had occurred and saw blood on one of the walls next to the door of a small conference room. Both he and MBA student Sonali Roy said they were asked to leave by a UPD officer because officers were investigating the area as a crime scene.

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