- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 15, 2001

A District of Columbia Superior Court judge yesterday allowed police to release a photo of a juvenile suspected of two rapes who escaped from custody on Monday.
Police officials sought the court order to release the photograph of the 15-year-old because D.C. law prevents the police from releasing information about juvenile delinquents. The 15-year-old boy, who was held at Oak Hill juvenile center, escaped from an ambulance after a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation at D.C. General Hospital.
"He could strike again. We have no way of alerting the public there is [an accused] serial rapist out there," said a police source familiar with the case.
Superior Court Judge Ronald P. Wertheim placed a gag order on all police officials preventing them from commenting on the case before ruling yesterday afternoon that the photograph and a short statement could be released.
Sgt. Joe Gentile said the department would have no further comment other than a six-paragraph statement that identified the youth as being between 5 feet 2 inches and 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighing 120 pounds. He has a medium complexion with short hair and was last seen wearing a green coat, white shirt and blue pants.
"If anyone sees this subject, they should take no direct action but call police on 911," the statement said. "Citizens are advised to use caution if they come into contact with the subject."
According to juvenile records, the 15-year-old's record goes back to 1995 and includes charges of cocaine possession, burglary, stolen property, distribution of cocaine and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse while armed.
He escaped while being transported without guards or handcuffs in a private ambulance. Police sources said they were unaware of the youth's extensive criminal history and that he should have been properly secured.
Peggy Armstrong, spokeswoman for Mayor Anthony A. Williams, said she could not comment on whether or not there would be an investigation into why the youth was not properly secured.
The D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department requires all prisoners to be guarded and shackled to the gurney when being transported.
The 15-year-old was being returned to Oak Hill, which is run by the District's Youth Services Administration.
Administration officials have come under fire for dismantling a youth drug-rehabilitation program and misusing government phones and vehicles.
The 15-year-old is charged with the Oct. 4 sexual assault of a city government employee in the 500 block of 58th Street NE and another woman about two weeks earlier. Police could not give any details about the September attack.
The city employee was working in the 200 block of 61st Street NE taking water samples with two other government employees when the 15-year-old rode up on a bicycle. He talked to the three and then pulled out a gun and robbed them, authorities said.
He then forced the woman into a government vehicle and drove her to the 500 block of 58th Street SE, where he sexually assaulted her, authorities said.
A city employee familiar with the attack said the woman was a 22-year-old field biologist taking water-quality samples.
"They were explaining to him what they were doing and how they did their jobs. Then he pulled out his gun," said the city employee. "This kid is bad news."


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