Four employes of a McDonald's restaurant in Arlington had just finished counting the evening's receipts when they were accosted by two men who took $900 from a safe and then locked them all inside a walk-in refrigerator before taking the two women in the group out one at a time and sexually abusing them, according to testimony in Arlington Circuit Court.
Yesterday, one of three men charged in the incident testified at his trial that he had committed holdups of several fast food restaurants throughout the Washington area but insisted that he did not participate in the September 1981 robbery of the Arlington McDonald's.
Dallas D. Hammond Jr., the first to be tried in the case, pleaded not guilty earlier this week to 16 charges including abduction, attempted rape and sodomy.
Hammond, 31, already has been sentenced to life imprisonment without parole plus 65 years for robberies of McDonald's and Gino's restaurants in Prince George's, Montgomery and Charles counties. He faces charges in a similar robbery in Alexandria, according to his attorney, Liam O'Grady.
Hammond described for the Arlington jury yesterday the method he said he and two other men used in robbing as many as 10 fast food restaurants throughout 1981 and the early part of 1982.
He said he and a companion typically waited outside the rear of the restaurant and confronted employes as they left, ordering them to go back inside and lie on the floor. He said he produced a firearm and ordered the manager to open the safe and that he and his companion robbed the employes, tied them up and left them locked in a walk-in refrigerator.
He denied ever commmitting sexual offenses during the robberies.
According to testimony from victims in the Arlington McDonald's incident, they were accosted in the parking lot, ordered back inside, made to lie on the floor and robbed of jewelry, cash, a knapsack and a radio before being locked in the refrigerator. Hammond was identified by one of the male victims of the holdup.
After a day and a half of testimony, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Kenneth E. Melson asked the jury to give Hammond the maximum sentence possible--life imprisonment.
"What can I gain from lying?" Hammond said yesterday as he testified in his own defense. "I can't get out anyway. I'm gonna be locked up for the rest of my life." He said he typically committed "stickups" on weekends and noted that the Arlington robbery was on a Thursday. Hammond was first arrested during a holdup of a Charles County fast food restaurant on a weekday in January 1982.
Hammond answered yes when prosecutor Melson asked if prisoners convicted of sexual crimes are treated harshly by other inmates. Melson said in his closing arguments that Hammond knows he's going to spend time in prison, and "he doesn't want to spend it the hard way. That's why he's lying."
One of the victims and Linval Barrett, accused of driving Hammond's getaway car, identified Hammond as the one who sexually abused the female employes. Barrett has pleaded guilty to 16 robbery and firearms charges in the case and is awaiting sentencing. The other defendant in the case, Alfonso Burwick, is scheduled to go on trial in May.
The jury is to hear defense attorney O'Grady's final arguments this morning.