REGINALD K. TENEYCK, APPELLANT,
UNITED STATES, APPELLEE
Argued: February 26, 2014.
Appeal from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. (CF3-693-12). (Hon. Heidi M. Pasichow, Trial Judge).
Sydney J. Hoffman for appellant.
Gilead I. Light, Assistant United States Attorney, with whom Ronald C. Machen Jr., United States Attorney, and Elizabeth Trosman and Elizabeth H. Danello, Assistant United States Attorneys, were on the brief, for appellee.
Before BECKWITH and EASTERLY, Associate Judges, and FERREN, Senior Judge.
Beckwith, Associate Judge.
Appellant Reginald Teneyck was convicted of several charges stemming from a January 2011 attempted robbery of a man who was talking on his mobile phone in his parked car near Dupont Circle. On appeal, Mr. Teneyck challenges both the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his felony assault conviction and the fairness of
his sentence, which he argues was improperly based on hearsay and rumors about his involvement in other thefts. While we conclude that the trial judge did not err when sentencing Mr. Teneyck, we agree that the government presented insufficient evidence that the cuts the complainant sustained on his hands during the incident amounted to " significant bodily injury" for purposes of the felony assault statute.
The complainant in this case, Paul McDonough, testified that he was sitting in his parked Toyota Sequoia on Jefferson Place, N.W., taking part in a conference call on his phone when a man he identified at trial as appellant Reginald Teneyck approached his vehicle. After Mr. McDonough rebuffed Mr. Teneyck's attempts to talk to him, Mr. Teneyck smashed the front passenger window, strewing broken glass throughout the car, and grabbed Mr. McDonough's laptop computer. The two men struggled over the computer before Mr. McDonough, a wrestling coach, grabbed Mr. Teneyck's clothing and pulled him partly inside the vehicle. Mr. McDonough and a passerby who rushed to help him held Mr. Teneyck in this position until the police arrived.
Mr. McDonough testified that he first noticed his hands were cut from broken glass after the police had arrested Mr. Teneyck. A police officer suggested that Mr. McDonough speak with an emergency medical technician (EMT) about his injuries, and the EMT asked if Mr. McDonough " wanted to go to the hospital." Mr. McDonough said he did and was taken by ambulance to Georgetown University Hospital, where a doctor took X-rays and a sonogram to locate any shards of glass in his hand. Though the record does not indicate how many shards were detected, a doctor removed one piece of glass by making an incision in Mr. McDonough's finger. Mr. McDonough received no sutures for the incision and was not hospitalized. A doctor gave him pain medication, which he said he took for " the next couple of days." Mr. McDonough also testified that at the time of trial, more than three months after the incident, he thought he still might have a small piece of glass in his finger but he had not sought treatment for that.
No doctor or EMT testified at trial, but the government introduced photographs of Mr. McDonough's hands taken after the incident and reports from the EMTs and physicians who treated him. The D.C. Fire and EMS report stated that Mr. McDonough had " cut his hand" on the glass from his car window and listed Mr. McDonough's " [c]omplaint" as " laceration to hands." In its " findings," the report stated that Mr. McDonough was " upset," that he was " bleeding," and that there was " no sign of decreased circulation." The report also indicated that the EMTs " successful[ly]" treated the wound and controlled the bleeding by applying " direct pressure" with " gauze pads." The Georgetown University Hospital report indicated that an X-ray was performed and ...