Ex-cook at Camp Zama sentenced for attacking spouse near Army post in Japan


TOKYO — A Michigan man will spend a year and a day in prison for assaulting his spouse at their home outside Camp Zama, the headquarters of U.S. Army Japan in Sagamihara, according to a news release Friday from the U.S. Justice Department.

Robert Hammock, 39, a former Zama cook from Detroit, pleaded guilty May 4 in U.S. District Court in Detroit to one count of assault of a spouse by strangling or attempting to strangle, according to court records.

On July 19, 2021, an argument between Hammock and his spouse, identified in court records as Victim 1, escalated until Hammock punched the woman in the eye twice, hit her on the head and body, pushed her to the ground and then attempted to strangle her, according to the release.


“He was intoxicated, angry, and placed his hands around his wife’s throat, squeezing tightly to the point where she nearly lost consciousness,” said a sentencing memorandum filed Sept. 7 by assistant U.S. attorney Michael Taylor. “This instance was merely the latest in a long history of prior violence against his wife, all of which occurred in the presence of her son.”

The U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigation Division investigated the case, according to the statement.

“She was able to escape only when Hammock stopped assaulting her as he attempted to take her cell phone, which she had dropped due to the force of the strangulation,” the release said.


The woman’s eye and cheek were bruised and her neck lacerated, according to the release.

Hammock was indicted March 3, 2022, on one count of assault of a spouse by strangulation committed by a person employed by the armed forces outside the U.S., according to the sentencing report. He pleaded guilty prior to sentencing in accord with a plea agreement, the report states. He originally faced up to 30 months in prison.