Judge Doesn’t Release ‘Mentally Incompetent’ Defendant

DC Superior Court Judge Michael Ryan did not release a defendant who was found mentally incompetent.

Omar Spriggs is charged with simple assault, attempted possession of a prohibited weapon, attempted threats to do bodily harm, destruction of property less than $1,000 and assault with significant bodily injury while armed.

Spriggs, 41, has been detained at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, DC’s psychiatric institution, since Jan. 23. He repeatedly refused to take part in competency assessments until June 16, when the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) submitted their report to the court. 

The defendant was found mentally incompetent, as the DBH and defense attorney, Donna Beasley, recommended. 

The prosecution requested another hearing with continued attempts to restore Spriggs’ competency. The hearing, held July 24, found that the defendant was still incompetent. 

Spriggs allegedly smashed a car window on Dec. 4 on the 500 block of Indiana Avenue, NW. When a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officer was talking to the victim, the defendant spontaneously said, “I smashed the window. I smoke crack. I’m sorry.” 

The defendant continued to say he gets in fights with white people and that he was going to keep smashing windows. 

On Dec. 23 on the 500 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, the defendant allegedly punched a victim after she did not provide him with the money he asked for. He then fled the scene.

The next day, Spriggs allegedly attempted to rob a woman and tackled her to the ground on the 800 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. When the police arrived, he got into a verbal altercation with the victim. When she walked away, the defendant grabbed a bottle and tossed it towards her back. He tried to throw another unknown object at the victim, but was stopped by an MPD officer.

Spriggs also allegedly walked up behind a victim and struck them in the head with a club that had a metal screw protruding from it. This caused uncontrolled bleeding in the victim’s brain and required emergency surgery to alleviate brain swelling. The incident occured on Dec. 26 on the 700 block of 4th Street, NW.