The man stood at a trash can on 14th Street NW in the Logan Circle neighborhood Thursday as two people walked by. He spit on one of the walkers, D.C. police reported.
The attack ended with the victim, a man, taken to a hospital with what police said were not life-threatening injuries after he was repeatedly struck with the hammer.
The incident began near the intersection of 14th and Church streets after the two people crossed Church Street and encountered the alleged spitter about 4 p.m. Thursday.
The victim responded with words to the effect of “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” according to a D.C. police report.
The police report said the alleged spitter responded, “You want some of this?”
The man then chased the victim and fellow walker, who retreated into the Cork & Fork Wine Shop, the police report said. The man followed and produced a metal hammer, which he used to strike the victim in the head multiple times, according to police.
The victim managed to grab the man, and they tumbled to the ground. Then the victim’s friend “grabbed a bottle of wine and struck [the man] twice with the bottle over his head, breaking the bottle on the second strike,” the report said.
The man fled the store and was last seen headed west on Church Street, police said.
Late Thursday, D.C. police released photos from nearby surveillance cameras of what police called a suspect in the assault. The photos depicted a black male wearing dark shorts and a blue short-sleeve shirt with buttons that he wore over a long-sleeve shirt that appeared to be light blue.
The owner of the wine shop declined to comment on Friday.
Thursday’s attack occurred about two weeks after Wendy Martinez, 35, was fatally stabbed about a half mile away — on the other side of the traffic circle — in the 1400 block of 11th Street NW. Police said Martinez was jogging just before 8 p.m. on Sept. 18 when she was attacked in what authorities are calling a random incident.
Police arrested a suspect in Martinez’s death who according to court documents has a history of paranoia and aggressive tendencies.
The randomness of the attack caused concern in Logan Circle and sparked a community meeting with police.
Thursday’s hammer attack has renewed some of those fears, said John Fanning, who chairs the community’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission. Violent crime has not been an issue in Logan Circle but Fanning said the two attacks “have shaken the community.”
He said, “residents feel uneasy about going out jogging, walking their dogs.”