- The Washington Times - Friday, July 20, 2007

DISTRICT

Armed Capitol intruder pleads guilty

A Silver Spring man pleaded guilty yesterday to running into the U.S. Capitol in September with a loaded handgun.

Carlos Greene, 21, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to several charges, including firearms offenses, cocaine possession and fleeing police.

Greene was arrested Sept. 18 after driving his sport utility vehicle through a security checkpoint on the Capitol grounds. He then evaded several officers as he ran through the building and was eventually stopped by civilians, prosecutors said.

Police found a plastic bag containing crack cocaine and a handgun.

Greene faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison when sentenced Sept. 27.

Street vendor charged in meter fraud scheme

D.C. police arrested a hot dog vendor who worked outside the Interior Department and charged him with partaking in a parking meter scheme.

Investigators said employees and construction workers in the building on C Street Northwest paid the vendor to plug their parking meters every two hours so they wouldn’t get parking tickets.

But police found that he wasn’t actually putting money in the meters. Police said he had a quarter on a string, which he would pull out of the meters once the money had registered, then use over and over.

Police said public works officials got suspicious when they noticed a drop in parking revenue for the area. The vendor, whose name was not released, was arrested after a surveillance operation by undercover detectives.

He is charged with theft of public services. His hot dog stand has been seized as evidence.

VIRGINIA

ARLINGTON

State wants to join transportation suit

Virginia leaders want to join a lawsuit that would allow the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority to raise money for road projects.

The authority filed the lawsuit last Friday in Arlington County Circuit Court as a pre-emptive measure, asking the court to affirm the authority’s power to raise revenue and to spend it.

In a motion filed Wednesday, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, state House Speaker William J. Howell and Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell asked the court to allow them to join the suit as plaintiffs.

Critics of the law include Loudoun County supervisors, who argue it is unconstitutional and fear it could create scenarios of favoritism when the authority decides where and how to spend the money.

MARYLAND

BALTIMORE

Struggling church bought a Bentley

A church unable to pay a $12,000 water bill and facing foreclosure bought a custom-built Bentley Arnage luxury automobile in 2005 for its pastor’s use, the Baltimore Sun reported yesterday.

The 140-year-old First Mount Olive Free Will Baptist Church in West Baltimore suffered heavy fire damage after lightning struck its steeple last week, leading to an outpouring of sympathy and support from city officials and well-wishers.

Church spokesman Bryan Miller declined to comment about the church’s financial position. “My hopes are that at some time I will be able to respond,” he said. “But at this point, no comment.”

A spokesman for Mayor Sheila Dixon, who pledged her support after the fire, declined to comment.

Bishop Oscar Brown, who received the Bentley, said the church received financial support from across the nation after the fire and a $4 million insurance payout. GuideOne Insurance said a final valuation on the church’s policy will take several weeks.

The 3,000-member church took out a $1.5 million mortgage on the property in 2002. Just days before the fire, SunTrust Bank notified the church it would auction off the property this month.

Matthew Smith, a salesman at EuroMotorcars in Bethesda, said a handbuilt 2002 Bentley Arnage costs $225,000 new. But he said the car would be worth about $120,000 now and would have sold for $130,000 to $150,000 in 2005.

Ingrid Heigs, the daughter of a former church member, said the bishop usually kept the car parked inside the church’s fence.

“If you’re in that kind of debt, you would think instead of buying a Bentley you would pay your bills up and stay out of foreclosure,” Miss Heigs said. “But if his congregation felt as though he was worth buying a Bentley for, who’s to say that he wasn’t?”

HAGERSTOWN

Shooting could cost bar its liquor license

Members of the Washington County liquor board will decide within a month whether a Hagerstown bar violated a noise ordinance when a man was fatally shot there during a fight.

The owner of Zipper’s bar on Jonathan Street, Randy Jones, told the board Wednesday that he has since upgraded security. He recently installed five security cameras and a metal detecting wand to scan people for weapons.

If the board determines that Zipper’s violated the ordinance, it could lose its liquor license.

Christopher Ayala, 23, of Greencastle, Pa., was killed at the bar on May. The shooting suspect, Stephen Urquhart, 26, of New York, is still at large.

FROSTBURG

City worker charged with embezzlement

A former City Hall employee has been charged with embezzling $73,000 from city water funds, according to Allegany County District Court records.

Annamarie Dugan, 37, of Frostburg, was charged in a criminal summons with embezzlement, theft scheme of more than $500 and theft over $500. The district court summons was issued Tuesday and served the same day.

Miss Dugan, a 17-year city employee, has resigned, City Administrator John Kirby said .

Investigators said city officials learned July 4 that Miss Dugan was altering cash amounts on bank deposit slips. A preliminary check of city water accounts revealed more than $73,000 was missing from the funds, according to court records.

FREDERICK

State trooper rear-ends van

A state police cruiser rear-ended a van yesterday morning.

Cpl. Dale Smith of the College Park barrack was driving north on Route 15 when he collided with a van driven by George Purkey of Frederick, police said. Both drivers were treated for minor injuries.

Police said the road was wet and slippery from a recent shower.

Police said there were numerous other accidents in the area yesterday morning involving slippery roads and driver miscalculation regarding speed and distance between vehicles.

ANNAPOLIS

Judge will rule soon on newborn killing

An Anne Arundel County judge said she will rule soon in the case of a 17-year-old girl accused of killing the newborn boy she delivered at her home in Arnold.

Megan Patria, 18, is accused of giving birth on a toilet and dumping the baby in a trash can in December 2005. She was initially charged as an adult, but Judge Nancy Davis-Loomis ruled in January that Miss Patria should be tried as a juvenile since she was 17 at the time. The charges include second-degree murder, child abuse causing death and manslaughter.

In court Wednesday, prosecutor Laura Kiessling argued that Miss Patria’s behavior showed a pattern of “long-term avoidance” of dealing with her pregnancy. But defense attorney Howard Cardin said Miss Patria panicked and thought her newborn son was dead.

A medical examiner has ruled that the baby either drowned in the toilet or suffocated in a trash bag.

If found delinquent, Miss Patria could be held at a juvenile facility or serve probation until she turns 21.

From wire dispatches and staff reports