Charleston police drop charges against man suspected in West Ashley hammer attack

Charleston police have dropped charges against a 29-year-old man accused of attacking a man with a hammer in a mugging.

Police initially charged Michael Rashaad Moore with attempted murder and second-degree assault and battery by mob in connection with the assault on Jan. 29.

The charges have since been dropped, police spokesman Charles Francis said. Evidence gained through interviews and a search warrant exonerated Moore, he said. Francis would not elaborate on the discovered evidence that prompted the dropped charges.

Moore’s arrest had been based on statements from the victim, witnesses and officers, Francis said.

Police Chief Greg Mullen said in a statement that he regretted that Moore was charged and apologized for the ordeal. The department will conduct a full inquiry to identify any weaknesses and improve their investigative process to prevent a similar occurrence, the statement said.

Police first spoke with the 32-year-old West Ashley victim at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital. He was bleeding from a wound on the back of his head and had a large cut under his right eye.

The man told police he had been mugged and hit with a hammer.

The assault reportedly happened at Ko Cha Korean Restaurant on Mary Ader Street, according to an incident report. The man told police he was waiting for his food when someone walked in with a hammer and a knife.

The attacker struck the man in the back of the head, fell to the ground and was hit multiple times in the back.

The alleged attack remains under investigation, Francis said.

Reach Christina Elmore at 843-937-5908.