A 19-year-old who was in a release program as he awaited sentencing for assaulting a 69-year-old man on Metro has been arrested again, charged with punching a transit police officer six times in the face.
Elijah Jeremiah Smith of Northeast Washington was scheduled to be sentenced Thursday for his involvement in an April incident on Metro, where he allegedly assaulted an elderly man on an escalator at Metro’s Eastern Market stop. That assault was caught on a surveillance video that showed Smith punching the man three times and knocking him down.
The latest incident happened Tuesday around 8:30 p.m. near a Metro bus stop in the 700 block of Seventh Street in Northwest Washington.
A transit officer who was in plain clothes was helping another officer secure a prisoner when police allege that Smith came up to the officers. He said, “You will not disrespect me before my God.”
He then tried to talk to the person who was being arrested and police said in their report that he was interfering with the investigation. Smith cursed at the officers and then punched one of them in the face, causing him to fall to the ground, police said.
As the other officer tried to subdue Smith, he continued to “fight both officers,” according to the police report. It said he refused to follow their orders to “stop fighting” and “put your hands behind your back.” Officers eventually subdued him, using pepper spray, and arrested him.
Smith was charged with simple assault and assault on a police officer, according to documents. Smith and the officer who was punched were treated by medics on the scene. Stessel said Smith declined further medical attention at that time. After he was taken to a local police station, Smith asked to go to an area hospital. He was taken to a hospital and treated before being transported to jail.
The transit police officer who was punched in the face suffered only minor injuries. Dan Stessel, a Metro spokesman, said the officer did not require medical attention at a hospital.
In the April incident at the Eastern Market stop, the victim told police that he was pushed by Smith as he got off a train. The two then argued while on the escalator and the victim said Smith spit on him before punching him in the face.
Smith was charged with felony assault and in September he pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of simple assault. He had been in custody but after his guilty plea in September he was released into a high-intensity supervision program, according to officials in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District.