- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Boy hit by bus while riding bike

A Metro bus hit an 11-year-old boy who was riding his bicycle through an intersection in Northwest yesterday.

The accident occurred about 4:15 p.m. at Georgia Avenue and Decatur Street.

The boy was riding a purple bicycle westbound on Decatur Street when the double bus, traveling south on Georgia Avenue, struck him, fire department spokesman Alan Etter said.

Witnesses said it appeared the driver had a green light and tried to stop.

Mr. Etter said the child was pinned under the front bumper of the bus and was dragged about 20 feet.

Rescuers put inflated air bags under the bus to raise it before they were able to pull the boy out.

The boy was conscious and alert the whole time, Mr. Etter said.

The boy was transported to Children’s Hospital and released later last night.

Arson investigators capture escapee

Arson investigators recaptured a man who had escaped from police custody after he was arrested in the torching of a car belonging to a candidate for D.C. Council.

Police said James D. Bell, 34, of no fixed address, was picked up about 7:15 p.m. yesterday at 17th and L streets Northeast. Mr. Bell is charged with setting fire last month to a 1991 Mercury Capri belonging to Kathy Henderson, a candidate for the Ward 5 council seat.

Mr. Bell was arrested Saturday and charged with destruction of property.

But Monday morning, as he was being transported from the 5th District police station in Northeast to the department’s central cellblock in Northwest, Mr. Bell managed to force or kick open the back door of the transport wagon and escape.

Police said additional charges are pending.



Slain children’s kin called ‘aggressive’

Another detective in the retrial of two illegal aliens accused in the near-beheading deaths of three young relatives took the stand yesterday.

Detective Juan Diaz translated Spanish-language statements by relatives for Baltimore police after the May 27, 2004, killings of Ricardo Solis Quezada Jr., 9; his sister, Lucero Solis Quezada, 8; and their cousin Alexis Espejo Quezada, 10.

He said the children’s cousin, Adan Canela, 19, was arrogant and “aggressive” during questioning by police.

Mr. Canela and his uncle, Policarpio Espinoza Perez, 24, are on retrial in the children’s deaths.

Defense attorneys said yesterday that Mr. Canela had reason to be upset after being separated from his family and held in a cell for hours. He and Mr. Perez were arrested the day after the bodies were found.

The attorneys also questioned the ability of Detective Diaz, then a police officer for about two years, to correctly conduct the investigation.

The detective assisted heavily in the investigation — interviewing suspects and ordering search warrants — before being promoted months later to the position of detective in the homicide unit.

He said he is the only Hispanic detective.

Prosecutors tried yesterday to connect blue spots seen on pictures of the defendants’ palms to a blue, grainy construction substance found at the crime scene. Defense attorneys said the spots on the men’s hands are ink stains from signing papers after their arrest.


Most-wanted fugitive finally stands trial

A felon once called Baltimore’s most-wanted fugitive is back in court.

After numerous postponements, the first-degree murder trial of Tyrone Beane, 21, began Monday in Circuit Court.

Beane is accused of fatally shooting Taharka McCoy, 25, in January 2002. He has since been convicted of attempted murder in another case and is serving a 75-year sentence.

At the time of Mr. McCoy’s shooting, Beane was 17 and was suspected in another killing. The murder trial was delayed because of missing witnesses, a lack of courtrooms and the loss of the folder that contained the original grand jury indictment.


Man sentenced in firebombing trial

A man was sentenced yesterday to more than 12 years in prison for his role in the firebombing of the home of an activist who was leading a fight against drug dealing in her community.

Isaac Smith, 26, was sentenced to 150 months in prison, for conspiracy to commit witness tampering and use of fire and explosives to commit a felony, U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said.

Smith conspired with a gang of drug dealers who planned the January 2005 attack on Har-wood Community Association President Edna McAbier, who had complained repeatedly to police about drug dealing.

The complaints were disrupting the dealers’ business and the firebombing was an attempt to silence her, prosecutors said.

The ringleader, Terrence Smith, 24, of Baltimore, was sentenced to 80 years in prison. Nakie Harris, 30, and Richard Royal, 21, received 60-year sentences.

The attack drew attention in a city struggling to curb crime and where witnesses often are scared to come forward.

About six weeks before the firebombing, a homemade DVD called “Stop Snitching” hit Baltimore streets, warning people they could “get a hole in their head” for telling police about drug activity.

Miss McAbier escaped unharmed, and her home sustained minor damage.


Teen charged with attempted murder

A teenager was charged with arson and multiple counts of attempted murder and assault after police said he set fire to his home yesterday.

Anne Arundel County police said the fire occurred at 2 a.m. in the 800 block of Mago Vista Road.

Deontary Neal, 17, started the fire, then used an ax to strike his 49-year-old aunt in the leg and abdomen, police said. The woman ran to the house next door, where police said Deontary tried to break down a door to get inside.

When officers arrived, they found Deontary brandishing a piece of lumber. He finally put it down and was taken into custody.

His aunt was treated at a hospital. Three other residents of the house were treated for smoke inhalation.



Ex-NASA aide pleads to child porn charge

A former senior National Aeronautics and Space Administration manager pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography from his government and home computers.

James Robinson of Sterling, Va., faces five to 20 years in prison after he admitted Mon-day in U.S. District Court that he sent digital movies of child-ren engaging in sexual acts with adults to three undercover U.S. postal inspectors in March 2005.

Prosecutors said Robinson used his personal Yahoo e-mail account and the name Jim Saron to distribute the movies.

In his NASA job, Robinson ran programs on robotic probes sent through the solar system.

It is not clear whether he resigned from the space agency or was fired.

Sentencing was set for Oct. 13.


City halts dig for buried train

Crews trying to assess the condition of a locomotive buried 81 years ago in a tunnel have been ordered to stop working.

City officials are concerned about the stability of the hill above the tunnel and the search team’s lack of permits. The study will be delayed for several weeks while a hydrologist inspects the area.

Crews drilled two holes in the hillside last week and pumped water out of the tunnel.

The Chesapeake & Ohio Railway locomotive was buried with 10 flatcars when the tunnel collapsed in 1925, killing three men.


Police car kills couple in truck

A Petersburg couple was killed Monday night when their vehicle was struck by a police cruiser responding to a disturbance call, police said.

Robert Allen, 75, and Juanita Allen, 71, died at the scene of the crash, which occurred 11:40 p.m.

Two officers in separate cars were en route to a call when one cruiser, driven by Officer David Christian, struck the pickup truck driven by Mr. Allen.

Officer Christian was treated for a head injury at a hospital and released. He was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation.


Ex-state trooper pleads guilty to sex assault

A former Virginia state trooper pleaded guilty Monday to repeatedly sexual assaulting a 14-year-old girl three years ago.

Juan Carlos Zaragoza, 26, of Fredericksburg, was convicted of two felony counts of carnal knowledge of a child older than 13 but younger than 15.

He faces up to 20 years in prison when sentenced Sept. 22.

In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop a third charge and not prosecute him for sexual assaults he is accused of making involving at least three other girls.

The sexual assault took place in 2003 at Zaragoza’s home in Newport News.

Zaragoza had been a trooper for two months when he was arrested.


Man who drowned in river identified

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office identified the man who drowned in the Rappahannock River while on a boating trip with his 5-year-old son as Randall Keith Knowles, 45, of Stafford.

Mr. Knowles’ body was pulled from the river Sunday. He drowned Saturday night some point after contacting a family member to say that the boat had run out of gas and that he needed help.

Authorities said he left the boat and was trying to swim to shore to find out where he was.

An off-duty Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries warden found the boat with the child on board.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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