- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 8, 2005


Firetruck overturnsen route to call

A firetruck rushing to a call yesterday crashed on Military Road Northwest.

Fire department spokesman Alan Etter said the truck was on Military Road, near Oregon Avenue in Rock Creek Park, when the driver apparently lost control on a curve. The firetruck hit a guardrail, flipped onto its side, then came to a stop in the opposite lane.

No other vehicles were involved in the crash, and the four firefighters aboard suffered only minor injuries. Crews also dealt with a diesel fuel spill, and Military Road was closed into the afternoon rush hour.

Mr. Etter said the truck was responding to a call that turned out to be a small kitchen fire.

Police consider linkin hotel robberies

Police think one man may be to blame for at least seven robberies at city hotels.

The first robbery was in April, and the most recent happened Monday. Investigators said victims in each case have given a similar description of the robber. A dark-colored handgun was used in all but the first robbery.

The hotels are in some of the city’s more affluent neighborhoods, including Dupont Circle, Van Ness, Foggy Bottom and downtown. In most cases, the victims are front-desk employees, but in one instance a guest was robbed in the lobby. In another case, a parking garage worker was robbed.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 202/727-9099.

Bus explodes on I-395;no one injured

A Greyhound bus heading to Knoxville, Tenn., caught fire yesterday, but the 38 passengers and the driver escaped without injury.

The bus had left the depot in Northeast just a few minutes earlier. The fire broke out about 9:30 a.m. as the bus cleared the Third Street Tunnel and headed south on Interstate 395. Investigators said they think the fire started in the engine compartment at the rear of the bus. The vehicle was gutted.

“I was wondering what the smell is. I turned around, there was nothing but smoke everywhere. I thought everyone was going to start stampeding off the bus,” said passenger Casey MacDonald of Fredericksburg, Va.

Firefighters evacuated a restaurant near the burning bus as its tires exploded. Lights on cars in the parking lot melted from the heat.

Passengers waited alongside I-395 until Greyhound sent another bus to pick them up and continue their trip.



Trial postponedin children’s slaying

A Circuit Court judge yesterday postponed the trial of two Mexican immigrants charged in the May 2004 killing of three young relatives after a defense attorney said prescription painkillers were impairing his ability to represent his client.

Judge Lynn K. Stewart agreed to delay the trial until July 6 after defense attorney James Rhodes began nodding off during yesterday’s court proceedings.

Mr. Rhodes represents Adan Canela, 18, who along with Policarpio Espinoza, 23, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges.

Another judge, who had denied a postponement request, sent the request to Judge Stewart after Mr. Rhodes began nodding off and other attorneys asked him to reconsider.

The two defendants face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted in the deaths of Ricardo Solis Quezada Jr. and his sister, Lucero Solis Quezada, both 9, and their 10-year-old cousin, Alexis Espejo Quezada. They were found dead in their apartment after returning from school in May 2004, one beheaded and two nearly decapitated.

Mr. Espinoza is the uncle of the dead children, and Mr. Canela is the children’s cousin.


Man arrestedin mall stabbing

A Fairfax County man was arrested on charges of stabbing another man at a restaurant in White Flint Mall.

Christopher In Paek, 21, is being held in Fairfax County. He is awaiting extradition to Maryland, where he faces charges including attempted murder and assault, Mont-gomery County police said.

A 19-year-old man was stabbed early Friday at Dave and Buster’s. Investigators said the victim and suspect know each other.


Boy assaultedin mall restroom

Police are investigating the sexual assault of a 4-year-old boy in a restroom at Westfield Shoppingtown Montgomery, formerly Montgomery Mall.

Police released details of the May 27 incident this week. It happened just before 7 p.m., when two brothers, ages 4 and 5, went to the restroom near the food court. The boys’ mother became concerned when they were taking too long, and when she looked into the restroom, she saw a man inappropriately touching her 4-year-old.

The man fled. He is described as a white male, 45 to 50 years old, 5 feet 6 inches tall, 180 pounds, with gray curly hair.

Police are asking anyone with information about the incident or any related incidents to call 240/773-5400 or 866/411-TIPS.


Construction workerkilled when wall falls

A construction worker was killed yesterday when part of a wall fell on his head.

Prince George’s County fire department spokesman Mark Brady said the 29-year-old man was building an interior wall on a new house on Fairview Vista Drive when it collapsed. Paramedics declared him dead at the scene.

No other workers were hurt. County police are investigating.


Ku Klux Klancalls off rally

A Ku Klux Klan chapter has canceled a rally planned for next month in Boonsboro.

Gordon Young, Hagerstown-based leader of the World Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, told town officials in a letter that the July 9 event had been postponed and that he would contact them again, Boonsboro Town Manager John Kendall told the Hagerstown Herald-Mail on Tuesday.

On Monday, the Boonsboro Town Council passed an emergency ordinance banning guns in public places, which would have applied to the Klan rally. Mr. Kendall said the timing of the action was coincidental.



Third drill teststerror response

The victims’ screams outside the Pentagon were real, but their injuries weren’t.

It was all part of yesterday’s mock attack on the Pentagon and nearby office buildings to test emergency responders — the third such exercise at the Pentagon since the September 11 terrorist attack. The military called it a “full-scale response to evaluate existing plans” in response to “multiple threats.”

But while one victim yelled “I’m dying” and others screamed in anguish, it took at least 15 minutes for first responders to arrive.

Participants said that was part of the drill, noting that units had to be kept available for real-life emergencies.


Driver killedin single-rig crash

A truck driver is dead after his rig plowed into a barrier along westbound Interstate 66 yesterday.

Sgt. Matt Hanley with the Virginia State Police said the tractor-trailer hit the impact barriers at the Stringfellow Road exit just before 2 p.m.

There also was a hazardous materials spill.

Sgt. Hanley said it was not clear what caused the crash, noting there were no signs the driver tried to brake. He also said there was nothing to indicate any other vehicles were involved.

The traffic ramifications were felt well into the evening rush. For a time, the left lanes on both sides of I-66 were closed.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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