A short distance away, police said a man was peeking out from behind a portable toilet in an alleyway watching the officers. He fled as they approached, running through alleys and jumping fences before throwing a backpack he was carrying. Officers later found Mr. Davis in the neighborhood and identified him as the man they had chased. He had fresh blood and fresh cuts on his hands, according to a police affidavit filed in D.C. Superior Court.
From the backpack, police recovered a hammer that had hair stuck to the claw end, the affidavit states.
The 19-year-old woman who was assaulted said just before she was attacked she noticed a man walking behind her who was carrying a dark bag and wearing a shirt with light horizontal stripes.
Police recovered a blue and white striped hoodie with blood on it from underneath a porch near where Mr. Davis was seen sitting shortly before his arrest.
On Friday, residents who gathered near the Northwest D.C. home where Mr. Davis lived with his grandmother said he was regularly seen walking around the neighborhood in a light blue hoodie with white stripes across the chest.
The second attack with which Mr. Davis is charged also occurred Thursday but was reported after his arrest.
A man was walking his dog in the 200 block of Ingraham Street Northwest around 3:30 p.m. when he passed a young man who greeted him with a smile and “exchanged pleasantries.” After the young man passed, the man was struck in the head from behind. The victim said he did not come forward immediately because he was “embarrassed by the event” and “wanted to think it over before making the report.”
On Friday, the man identified Mr. Davis from a photo spread as the person who attacked him. Police recovered the rubber handle of a hammer from the scene of the attack.
As police on Friday searched Mr. Davis‘ home, in the 900 block of Emerson Street in Northwest, homicide detective Lt. Robert Alder said investigators were looking into whether the hammer recovered was the same weapon used to attack the three other victims.
In an attack Tuesday night, Gary Dederichs, 66, of Denver was found dead in an alley in the 800 block of Emerson Street Northwest. He suffered massive head trauma and injuries “consistent with a claw style weapon, possible similar to a hammer,” according to the affidavit.
Less than 12 hours later, a 53-year-old man was found in the roadway in the nearby 4800 block of Georgia Avenue Northwest with severe trauma to the back of his head. On Wednesday night, a 37-year-old woman was hit from behind as she was walking in the 5600 block of 9th Street Northwest. Both victims suffered skull fractures.
Neighbors and family members, who gathered Friday on street corners near Mr. Davis‘ home and watched police come and go, were in disbelief that the quiet young man could be behind the attacks.
Among them was “Duke,” the father of Vernon and stepfather of Michael, who declined to comment. Others, who declined to give their names because of their close relationships with the family, said Michael Davis was quiet and didn’t have the temperament to hurt anyone.
One woman, who several people in the neighborhood identified as Michael Davis‘ mother, sat in the passenger seat of an SUV around the corner from the home and said “Mike” might have forgotten to “take his shot.” The same woman was among those in court Saturday.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled in Mr. Davis case for May 11.