Metro Transit Police arrested a 23-year-old D.C. man Tuesday on felony assault charges after he allegedly assaulted two customers at Navy Yard station.

Police said Leon Quarles targeted a 59-year-old woman and a 39-year-old man after entering the station around the time of the evening rush.


Metro Transit Police arrested Leon Quarles, 23, on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, on suspicion of felony assault.

According to Metro Transit Police, shortly before 5:50 p.m. Tuesday, Quarles approached the woman from behind and struck her in the head, knocking her unconscious. Police said the woman fell the ground. She was hospitalized with fractures to her facial bones, multiple cuts and a concussion.

Authorities said Quarles later walked up to the man and punched him in the head. The man was examined by paramedics but declined further medical attention, Metro said.

Police arrested Quarles at Navy Yard. Authorities said he initially resisted arrest and later threatened to “shoot two MTPD officers after his release.”

Metro said that before the attack, Quarles had twice entered Navy Yard station without paying. In one instance he arrived by train and exited through an emergency gate. Authorities said he then went to a nearby CVS where he allegedly shoplifted about $100 worth of merchandise before reentering Navy Yard through the ADA fare gate without paying.

Quarles was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, receiving stolen property, threats to do bodily harm and disorderly conduct, Metro said.

The D.C. Council voted in December to decriminalize fare evasion, dropping criminal penalties in favor of a $50 civil infraction for the offense. Police did not charge Quarles with fare evasion. Metro had opposed the change.