WASHINGTON - The man charged in connection with the fatal hit-and-run on the National Mall earlier this month that killed a 75-year-old man and injured a 13-year-old appeared in court Friday.
U.S. Park Police officers arrested Benjamin Robertson Thursday, and he's now facing charges of second-degree murder and assault with a dangerous weapon for that deadly hit-and-run at 17th and Constitution Avenue on July 12.
D.C. Superior Court Judge Judith Pipe ordered Robertson to remain behind bars for now.
Defendants facing criminal charges are generally free before trial unless they are a flight risk or considered a threat to the safety of the community. Pipe found that Robertson may be a flight risk after reviewing the allegations from prosecutors that he initially fled a traffic stop initiated by the Secret Service and then ignored a red light before hitting and killing the 75-year-old victim Bing Wong. The prosecutors said Robertson continued for a distance with the victim on the hood of his car.
The judge called the behavior more than negligence, saying it was reckless while noting there was no evidence that the incident was intentional. The judge also said that the defendant did not try to stop the vehicle or get out to render aid to the victim, nor did he turn himself in to police.
Robertson is also accused of hitting and injuring the victim's step-grandchild who was standing next to him at the time.
Robertson's lawyer tried to argue for supervised release or an ankle monitor, but the judge rejected that request saying she was not prepared to release him on any conditions. Judge Pipe said the next judge could change the circumstances and allow for release in the future.
Robertson's next court hearing is set for August 17 at 9:30 a.m. at the D.C. Superior Court.