- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 26, 2007

VIRGINIA

MANASSAS

Sex assault suspect eludes police

Prince William County police are looking for a Woodbridge man accused of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl.

Officers have been trying to serve Kwame Boateng, 43, with a warrant, but he knows they are looking for him. They said he lured the girl into his apartment Friday by telling her he had pictures of her. Once inside, she was assaulted.

Investigators said Mr. Boateng had assaulted the girl on several occasions since September 2004.

Police are offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to his arrest.

MARYLAND

BALTIMORE

Missing boy, 3, returned home

A missing 3-year-old was found safe with a friend of the boy’s mother.

Officer Nicole Monroe said Kyren Parks‘ mother told officers that her friend Robert Douglas, 38, took the boy without her permission.

Officer Monroe said investigators were concerned because the mother and Mr. Douglas fought over the weekend and Mr. Douglas has a criminal history. State police issued an Amber Alert for Kyren.

Police said the boy had been seen last near his home in the 1600 block of Mountmore Court about 11 a.m. Sunday with Mr. Douglas.

Officer Monroe said Mr. Douglas returned to the home with the boy about 9:30 a.m. yesterday and was taken into custody.

FREDERICK

Explosives incidents thought to be linked

Frederick police said two homemade explosives were detonated in two locations about 2½ miles apart Sunday night.

Authorities received reports of explosions about 9:45 p.m.

One device was thrown onto a lawn on Wyn Court, where it exploded but caused no damage. The second device exploded in a mailbox on Hillcrest Drive, causing about $35 in damage.

No one was injured.

Police said the devices were made of unknown chemicals in plastic bottles.

Officials said evidence indicates that the incidents are related, but they have not made a connection between the two locations.

BALTIMORE

Officer, suspect injured in shootout

An officer and a suspect were hurt in an exchange of gunfire early Sunday, police said.

Officer Nicole Monroe, a police spokeswoman, said three patrol officers and a sergeant were on patrol at about 12:40 a.m. when they saw a group of men they thought were involved in drug activities in the 2300 block of Barclay Street.

As the officers approached, the group broke up and one man in the group fired at the officers, who fired back, Officer Monroe said. Officer Jermell Rayam suffered a graze wound to a toe and was treated at a hospital and released.

The other officers were not injured.

Police said the suspect, a 21-year-old man on probation for narcotics violations, was wounded on his thigh and ankle. He was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he was under guard with injuries that were not life-threatening.

MOUNT AIRY

Boy, 9, charged with apartment arson

State fire investigators have charged a 9-year-old boy with arson for a fire that broke out Friday afternoon in the 200 block of Watersville Road.

Investigators with the state fire marshal’s office learned that the boy used a hidden key to let himself into the apartment without permission while the residents were away.

Once inside, they said, the boy set fire to bedding and clothing.

The boy was referred to the Department of Juvenile Services and faces charges of first-degree arson and malicious burning. He was released to the custody of his parents pending further action.

The fire caused about $500 in damage inside the ground-floor apartment.

THURMONT

Gypsy moth attack worst in 12 years

Millions of gypsy moth caterpillars are devouring forest greenery across western, northern and central Maryland in what state pest-control specialists say is the worst infestation in 12 years.

“We have defoliation from Cecil to Garrett,” and possibly some more southern counties, said Robert H. Tichenor, chief of forest pest management for the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

The agency, in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service and private landowners, sprayed pesticides on more than 50,000 acres in 12 counties this spring, “but the damage is well beyond this,” Mr. Tichenor told the Baltimore Sun.

Garrett County and the mountain regions between Frederick and Hagerstown are two major hot spots, he said. The worms have an appetite for oak, apple, American beech, birch, sweet gum, willow and hawthorn.

Tens of thousands of gypsy moths in their caterpillar stage attack a tree, eating the leaves and robbing the tree of nutrients. Many trees die, while others become susceptible to other insect predators. Mr. Tichenor said as many as 15 percent of infested trees die.

George Eberling, a forester at the Indian Springs Wildlife Management Area in Washington County, told the Hagerstown Herald-Mail that the hickory and oak forest there is especially attractive to gypsy moths.

“The whole management area, up around Indian Springs and the hunt clubs, they’ve all been hit very hard,” he said.

This year’s outbreak doesn’t appear to be shaping up as bad as the one in 1995, when the state sprayed 64,000 acres of trees, and an additional 93,000 acres were defoliated. A solid estimate of this year’s damage won’t be available until this fall.

The state spent $2 million to fight this year’s outbreak, but that covered only 50,000 acres. Another 15,000 acres were targeted, but funds to cover pesticides and spraying are lacking.

HAGERSTOWN

Illness reports keep club’s kitchen closed

Public health officials kept the Beaver Creek Country Club kitchen closed for the fifth straight day yesterday after receiving more than 80 reports of gastrointestinal illness among people who ate there.

The Washington County Health Department was awaiting state laboratory tests on patient stool samples and the Department of the Environment was planning to conduct more water sampling, health department spokesman Roderick MacRae said.

Patrick Steiner, the club’s president, told the Hagerstown Herald-Mail that breaks in the septic system had been repaired.

Health inspectors found the septic problems and ordered the kitchen closed Thursday while investigating illness reports from June 12 to 18, Mr. MacRae said.

He said no definite link has been found between the septic problems and the illness.

BALTIMORE

Suspects in stabbing turn themselves in

Two suspects in the stabbing death of a Marine reservist earlier this month surrendered, police said.

Warrants charging Maurice Crosby, 19, and Erica Ammenhauser, 20, in the stabbing death of Michael Simms were issued June 14. They surrendered to police Friday.

Mr. Simms died June 10. Police said he tried to break up a fight between his friends and another group. Two others were stabbed in the attack.

Police said the attack may have been retaliation for an assault a day earlier.

From wire dispatches and staff reports