Attack of Unarmed Store Security Officer at Rite Aid ends in Conviction

DeVino Harding, 52, of Washington, D.C., has been convicted by a jury of charges stemming
from an attack on an unarmed security officer who was working at a Northeast Washington drug
store.

Harding was convicted November 8, 2011, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District
of Columbia, of charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with significant bodily
injury, possession of a prohibited weapon, threats, and destruction of property. A sentencing
date has not yet been set before the Honorable Anthony C. Epstein.

According to the government’s evidence, on December 19, 2010, at approximately 6 p.m., the
victim was working as an unarmed loss prevention officer at a Rite-Aid store in the 800 block of
H Street NE. The victim saw a couple of young men enter the store wearing ski masks and asked
them to remove their masks.

Harding, who was in the store, accused the officer of harassing the men. The officer asked
Harding to stop shouting. Then, when Harding threatened him, the officer asked him to leave.
Once outside, Harding swung a stick at the officer, who was standing in the doorway. Harding
missed the officer, but he struck the store’s glass front door, causing the glass to shatter and his
stick to break. Harding then pulled out a knife and stabbed the officer in the abdomen.

The officer attempted to flee, but Harding caught him and stabbed him in the leg. The officer
was able to grab a portion of the broken stick and used it to defend himself. He struck Harding
in the mouth with the stick, and again tried to flee. Once again Harding caught up to him,
however. The officer fell, and Harding got on top of him and stabbed him two more times, in the
back. Harding left the scene shortly before police began arriving.

Two witnesses flagged down police, and took officers to a nearby home where they had seen
Harding flee. Officers went to that house, and Harding came to the door. The officers found a
large knife inside Harding’s pocket.

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