Two Washington men were arrested yesterday after allegedly smashing their way into the new District of Columbia courthouse, climbing into the judges' dining room and stealing a bowl of tuna fish.
The courthouse, at 500 Indiana Avenue NW., houses the District's Superior Court.
The men were identifited by police as Charlie Kennedy, 51, who said he has no fixed address but stays at the Central Union Mission at 613 C St. NW., and Otto Dale Reed, 26, who said he lived at 1524 F St. NE. Kennedy has been unemployed for 19 years and Reed has worked part-time for a moving company, according to court records.
Police said the two men smashed a large, ground-level window on the C Street side with a brick to get into the building at 3:50 a.m. yesterday. Reed cut his hand on jagged glass, and was treated at D.C. General Hospital, the police said.
Late yesterday, there still was a gaping hole in the window to the dining room - framed by chunks of broken glass - and blood spots covered the window's cement ledge.
Both men pleaded innocent to charges of second-degree burglary and were released yeasterday on their personal recognizance by Superior Court jdge Robert Campbell. A preliminary hearing for both men was scheduled for next Thursday.
In court, the two men said they were on their way to the District of Columbia's unemployment compensation office, located across the street from the courthouse, when the incident occured, the U.S. attorney's office said.
A spokesman for the city's General Services Department said the men reportedly told authorites they entered the building because they were hungry.
General Services director Sam D. Starobin said yesterday that the broken window was the "first case of out-and-out vandalism" since the courthouse opened last May Overall, Starobin said, there has been "surprisingly little glass breakage" at the building.
Meanwhile, Starobin said, officials still are trying to figure out the precise cause of the leaks from a huge skylight over the courthouse lobby during Sunday's heavy downpour.
The seepage flooded six courtrooms and some corridors, damaged ceiling tiles, and forced repairmen to temporarily shut down the building's bank of escalators which sits below the skylight and was soaked by the leaking water.