- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 12, 2006

D.C. police last night charged a man with felony murder in the mugging and slaying of retired New York Times journalist David E. Rosenbaum.

Michael Hamlin, 23, of Southeast, inadvertently turned himself in at the 7th District station at about 6 p.m. when he visited the precinct to find out why his face was being shown on TV news, police said.

“He came into the station, gave his name and said, ‘Why is my face on the news tonight?’” said Detective Tony Pace, the lead detective in the case. “He was arrested, we brought him to the Violent Crimes Division, and he confessed.”

An hour before Mr. Hamlin arrived at the police station near his home, surveillance video showing a man using a credit card stolen from Mr. Rosenbaum during the attack was aired on local television stations.

Detectives said that after being questioned about the use of the credit card, Mr. Hamlin confessed to attacking and robbing Mr. Rosenbaum.

The suspect was photographed at several businesses where Mr. Rosenbaum’s stolen credit cards were used or attempted to be used, police said.

Police were surprised at how quickly Mr. Hamlin was found yesterday evening.

“I’m actually shocked,” said Capt. C.V. Morris, head of the Violent Crimes Division. “But I’m glad that it happened this way.”

Mr. Hamlin, a maintenance worker, was wearing the same uniform when arrested as he was in in at least one of the surveillance videos, police said.

Police said one other person is wanted in connection with the attack but did not give details.

Mr. Rosenbaum, 63, was found shortly after 9 p.m. last Friday, lying on the sidewalk in the 3800 block of Gramercy Street Northwest after leaving his home for a walk. He died Sunday at Howard University Hospital from blunt force trauma to the head, neck and body, police said.

Police did not say what type of weapon was used in the attack but did say Mr. Hamlin would lead them to it.

One of Mr. Rosenbaum’s credit cards was used at 9:18 p.m. last Friday at a Northwest gas station, minutes after he was attacked from behind and his wallet stolen, police said.

The cards were used at least two more times that night in different areas of the District, including a CVS store at 2646 Naylor Road SE, police said.

The cards were used four more times before Sunday night, when attempts to charge the cards ceased, Capt. Morris said earlier yesterday.

“The cards started being used minutes after the assault,” he said. He would not disclose whether those transactions also were caught on camera.

The footage was taken from the CVS where the man used the card the night of the assault and at an Advance Auto Parts store at 6250 Kenilworth Ave. in Riverdale, where charges were made Saturday at 11:01 a.m.

Police said the cards were used to purchase $1,300 in goods, including laundry soap, car parts and tires for Mr. Hamlin’s Cadillac.

The Cadillac, which was seen by witnesses at the scene of the mugging, was turned over to police last night by Mr. Hamlin. Police said they had obtained a search warrant for the car.

Police would not say late yesterday whether Mr. Hamlin has a criminal record and are investigating whether he is connected to any other Northwest robberies.

Detectives said Mr. Hamlin did not have a lawyer present when he confessed and that he did not request one.

D.C. emergency response officials have come under fire for their slow response to a call for help for Mr. Rosenbaum.

Emergency medical technicians aboard a firetruck responded to an emergency call for help for Mr. Rosenbaum within minutes of the request, but an ambulance carrying two other emergency technicians arrived 22 minutes later and took Mr. Rosenbaum to Howard, several miles from his neighborhood.

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