- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 18, 2006



Teen charged in kidnap-robberies

A 17-year-old was charged yesterday with kidnapping a younger teen, who told police he was then forced to rob a bank.

Investigators think Jeremiah Brown Hall is responsible for kidnapping the teen at gunpoint from a bus in Prince George’s County on Feb. 6. The younger boy robbed a Chevy Chase bank in Montgomery County on Feb. 8, police said. Investigators think the Hall youth may also be connected to a similar abduction and the robbery of two banks in Prince George’s County on Jan. 20.

“There was never any reason to believe these young people [who robbed the banks] were anything but victims in these cases,” said Prince George’s County police Lt. Sean Carney, commander of the robbery section.

He said police were looking for additional suspects.

The Hall youth was charged in Prince George’s County with assault, kidnapping and false imprisonment.

Montgomery County police had a warrant charging the teenager with armed robbery, conspiracy and use of a handgun in a violent crime, spokeswoman Lucille Baur said. Mr. Hall has not been charged in any bank robberies in Prince George’s County.


Newborn’s body found in pond

Passers-by found the body of a newborn baby yesterday morning in a pond by the Riverdale Community Recreation Center.

Lt. Stanley Johnson of the Maryland-National Capital Park Police said someone noticed something unusual in the sediment pond. That person went to get some other people, and they all decided it would be best to call 911.

The fire department found the baby dead inside a bag. Lt. Johnson said it was a full-term, white girl.

Investigators want to talk with anyone who might have seen someone leave the bag.



Broader gay ‘marriage’ ballot question goes on

Critics of a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex “marriage” have persuaded the Senate to change how the question will be worded on the November ballot.

If the House of Delegates agrees, voters will see the entire text of the amendment — not just a summary — when they to go the polls. The Senate unanimously approved the change yesterday.

Opponents of the homosexual “marriage” ban said the summary was misleading because voters would not realize they also were voting to prohibit civil unions.

Critics say the constitutional amendment also is worded so broadly that it could bar contracts between all unmarried couples.

The amendment would define marriage as a union of only one man and one woman and ban civil unions.

The Senate Privileges and Elections Committee amended the House version to replace the summary with the more expansive language of the constitutional provision itself.

Sen. Steve Newman, Lynchburg Republican and sponsor of the Senate’s companion bill, urged the full Senate to accept the change to avoid a lawsuit by the constitu-tional amendment’s opponents.

However, Mr. Newman said he hopes the change would not set a precedent. Constitutional amendments traditionally have been reduced to shorter and simpler ballot issues for the benefit of voters, he said.

Mr. Newman said he has urged House members to approve the broader wording in his bill, which is pending in committee.


Terror hoax built on ill-fated romance

An Ashburn, Va., man who was angry at another man for dating his ex-girlfriend pleaded guilty yesterday to falsely reporting a future terrorist attack.

Federal prosecutors said Nabil W. Alkharouf, 38, made several anonymous phone calls and sent letters and e-mail last summer to the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. He said elders in the local Muslim community picked him to warn authorities about an Arlington man who was plotting an attack.

Alkharouf gave authorities the man’s name and address and told them the man was harboring illegal aliens from Iraq, had made trips to Syria and had smuggled in weapons.

Federal investigators found that the man was not a threat and traced the calls back to Alkharouf. He later admitted lying to get back at the man for dating a former girlfriend.

Alkharouf faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine at his sentencing May 12.


Interstate chase ends after crash

What started as a police stop ended in a highway chase and crash yesterday on Interstate 395.

Prince William County police said an officer in Dale City tried to pull over Martinez Robertson, who was wanted on various charges. But the suspect took off.

Officers followed him and a short time later the suspect caused an accident on Dale Boulevard. He ran off, but witnesses pointed police in the right direction. About a half-mile away, with officers running after him, police said, the suspect pulled a driver out of his Lincoln Navigator, punched him, threw him to the ground and drove off.

That started a chase up Interstate 95, through the Mixing Bowl up onto I-395. Just past Edsall Road, with about nine police cars in pursuit, one of the cruisers bumped the SUV, sending it spinning, then into the guardrail. The suspect ran off, but was quickly caught. He faces numerous charges.

One Fairfax officer was slightly hurt.


Mixing Bowl again point of detours

More construction work at the Mixing Bowl this weekend will mean more delays for drivers, the Virginia Department of Transportation warned.

During the evening, overnight and early morning hours, all traffic heading north on Interstate 95 will be forced onto the Outer Loop of the Capital Beltway when it gets to the Mixing Bowl. From there, those who want to be on the Inner Loop must go to Eisenhower Avenue and turn around — a detour officials say could take 45 minutes.

Drivers going south on Interstate 395 who want to continue to southbound I-95 will be sent to Exit 1B. From there, they can merge back onto I-95.

The detours are in effect from 8 tonight until 10 a.m. tomorrow and 9 p.m. tomorrow until 5 a.m. Monday.

The HOV lanes will be closed in the area during those times.


Six teens charged in car thefts, wrecks

Six teenagers known to police as the “Bumper Car Thieves” — because the cars they stole were later found banged-up like the ones in the amusement park ride — are under arrest.

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said eight cars — mostly Hondas — were stolen in the Sterling area in recent weeks. The thieves then raced them along back roads in the western part of the county, banging them up, then abandoning them.

The suspects range in age from 16 to 18 and are all from Fairfax County. Investigators are still looking for a 21-year-old from Arlington who they think has left the area.


Remains in lake likely missing boy

Authorities in Spotsylvania County think the skeletal remains pulled from Lake Anna yesterday afternoon are those of 3-year-old Tyreek Davis.

Authorities said the remains were removed from about 18 feet of water in an area near a bridge on U.S. Route 522. Spotsylvania County dive teams had worked for two days before the body was recovered.

It was taken to the state medical examiner’s office in Richmond for identification.

An attorney for the man convicted in Tyreek’s death passed along information about the location of the body, Sheriff Howard Smith and Commonwealth’s Attorney William Neely said.

Herman Black was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He had entered a plea to a lesser charge despite his refusal to lead investigators to the body.

Tyreek was reported missing in September 2004.


White House intruder gets suspended time

An Arkansas man has been convicted of illegally entering the White House grounds.

D.C. Superior Court Judge John Bayly then suspended a 150-day sentence for Shawn Cox, ordered him to pay a $50 fine and stay at least one block away from the White House.

Mr. Cox scaled the White House fence Dec. 4 after telling Secret Service officers that he wanted to see Chelsea Clinton.

He told Judge Bayly that three officers assigned to the White House bicycle patrol urged him to jump the fence. He also said they told him he might be injured by a guard dog and arrested.

Judge Bayly rejected a suggestion by Mr. Cox’s court-appointed attorney that the Secret Service officers spent a Sunday morning playing with a mentally unstable individual. Three officers testified they told Cox that Chelsea Clinton doesn’t live in the White House anymore.

Cox was arrested by officers when he entered the White House grounds.

New postmaster for city sworn in

Yverne Patrice Moore was sworn in yesterday as the District’s new postmaster.

She is a 30-year veteran postal employee who began as a letter-sorting clerk in Baltimore in 1976.

Miss Moore will oversee the activities of 2,300 U.S. Postal Service employees at 62 locations in the area.

She also will manage customer service for 300,000 patrons who receive nearly 2 million pieces of mail each day. Those customers include the White House, Congress and dozens of foreign embassies.

Mayor Anthony A. Williams was on hand to administer Miss Moore’s oath of office at the National Postal Museum.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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