- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 13, 2006

DISTRICT

Tax-free shopping ends today

Today is the final day for the District’s annual back-to-school sales-tax holiday. Shoppers who buy clothing items or school supplies costing $100 or less will save nearly six percent on purchases.

The money would normally be sent to the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue as sales tax. Members of the D.C. Council authorize two such holidays each year to help promote shopping in the city. The late-summer effort also provides residents and visitors a chance to save money as children prepare to return to school.

MARYLAND

BALTIMORE

Teen fatally shot by city officer

A 14-year-old boy was fatally shot by a Baltimore City Police Department officer inside the boy’s home yesterday morning, police said.

According to police, Kevin Cooper attacked Officer Roderick Mitter with a broom handle, breaking it over the officer’s head, and continued to come after the officer even after being sprayed with Mace several times.

Officer Mitter was one of two officers who responded to the boy’s home after his mother accused him of stealing her boyfriend’s bicycle. The officer stayed behind to write a theft report after the other officer left, and that’s when the attacked occurred, police said.

After the boy broke the broom handle over the officer’s head and continued to attack despite the Mace, Officer Mitter drew his service weapon.

Maj. James Rood said the teen continued to advance on the officer with a jagged-edged stick and that the officer fired one time, hitting the juvenile in his left shoulder.

The teen died at a nearby hospital. Investigators were looking into whether the boy, who is thought to have a history of mental illness and behavior problems, was on drugs. Officer Mitter, a one-year veteran who recently concluded his probationary period, was treated for a concussion and lacerations at a hospital and released.

ODENTON

Armed robbery turns fatal

A 47-year-old man was fatally shot in the parking lot of an Odenton bar early yesterday morning, according to the Anne Arundel County Police Department. The agency is looking for a suspect, described as a man in his 20s.

Police say the victim was sitting in his sport utility vehicle with a female friend when someone walked up to them, pulled a gun and announced a robbery. The robber took property from the victim, before the two began fighting and the victim was shot. The shooter fled on foot.

SALISBURY

Pastor acquitted in teen sex case

A Salisbury pastor accused of having a sexual relationship with an underage girl in his congregation has been acquitted of all charges.

A Wicomico County Circuit Court jury found Joshua Lawson, 30, not guilty of sexual abuse of a minor and engaging in a perverted practice following a two-day trial. The decision followed about 30 minutes of deliberation.

Mr. Lawson, pastor of New Life the Apostolic Church, was charged by police in February with having sex with a 16-year-old girl for several months starting last August.

VIRGINIA

NORFOLK

Sailor faces 3 counts of espionage

Navy officials are releasing some details in the case of a 21-year-old sailor facing three charges of espionage.

The Navy disclosed information Friday on what they found on Ariel Weinmann.

The items included $4,000 in cash, three CD-ROMs, an external computer-storage device and memory cards for storing digital images.

Mr. Weinmann also had a piece of paper with the names, Social Security numbers and birth dates of two persons.

The sailor was previously sought on charges of deserting the submarine Albuquerque in July 2005. Authorities caught him March 26 as he got off a plane in Dallas.

ROANOKE

Man avoids charges for nabbing alligator

Wildlife officials will not press charges against a Roanoke trucker for having a 10-foot-long, dead alligator he hauled from Florida last week.

Removing such animals from the state is a misdemeanor but the trucker, Elliott Terry, said a Florida police officer gave him permission.

Mr. Terry said he accidentally ran over the alligator while driving his car-carrier from Orlando, Fla., to Roanoke County early Wednesday morning.

Florida officials said letting him keep the animal was a mistake on the officer’s part.

Taking a dead alligator typically results in a maximum charge of 60 days in jail or a $500 fine, officials said.

Mr. Terry had wanted to turn the alligator into a pair of boots.

COLONIAL HEIGHTS

Off-duty officer dies in car chase

Authorities say an off-duty police officer died yesterday after his vehicle was struck by a Chesterfield County police cruiser involved in a high-speed chase.

The Virginia State Police said Lt. James Sears, 38, died when his car was struck early yesterday morning as a police car swerved to avoid another vehicle. The unidentified Chesterfield police officer was transported to Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond with injuries that were not life threatening..

Authorities were in pursuit of a car that sped through an accident scene and refused to stop when being pulled over. The driver of the wanted vehicle fled the scene on foot following the fatal crash.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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