- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 6, 2006


Metro ridership slips for Fourth

About 100,000 fewer riders than a year ago took Metro on the Fourth of July, Metro announced yesterday.

Metro said trains carried nearly 452,000 people Tuesday, compared with 541,000 last year, when Independence Day was on a Monday.

There was some minor trouble Tuesday on the Yellow Line when a Virginia Dominion Power line fell on the tracks during the thunderstorm and became entangled underneath a train.

About 100 people had to be moved to another train.

Also, the Forest Glen Metro station on the Red Line was closed for about an hour because of a power outage.

Meanwhile, the Washington Regional Alcohol Program said it provided 179 free taxicab rides home Tuesday night.

The SoberRide program began at 4 p.m. on the holiday and ran until 4 a.m. yesterday. Area residents who celebrated Independence Day with alcohol could call a toll-free number for a free ride to make the roads safer.



Bus carrying campers crashes on I-95

Nearly 60 people were injured, four seriously, yesterday when a bus carrying children back from a field trip to the National Aquarium in Baltimore crashed on Interstate 95.

The four seriously injured children were flown to Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, said Rich Gardiner, a spokesman for Harford County fire department. An 8-year-old girl’s hand was severed in the crash, officials said.

Of the others — ages 8,9 and 10 — one child had a suspected head injury, one a back injury, and the other child’s injury was unknown, Mr. Gardiner said.

The bus was one of six returning to Norris Square Day Camp in Philadelphia from the aquarium. A cab portion of a tractor-trailer also was involved in the crash.

Mr. Gardiner said 53 persons with minor injuries were taken to other hospitals.

All northbound lanes of I-95 were closed after the 5 p.m. accident, which closed the highway.

The bus was on its side in the breakdown lane, and long skid marks could be seen from the median across several lanes.

Traffic was backed up as much as six miles in the southbound lanes, which were closed for more than two hours. The northbound backup was shorter because traffic was diverted at two detours.

There were 60 persons on the bus, including three chaperones who didn’t need medical treatment.

The other five buses drove to the nearby Maryland House rest stop to wait for the road to reopen.


Suburban transit lines till being planned

A study of an east-west transit route in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties is moving ahead despite a perception that it is being muscled out by higher profile projects, Maryland transportation officials said yesterday.

State planners aim to complete a study of the environmental effects of the Bi-County Transitway next year, a necessary step to winning federal funding.

Work could begin by 2010, Maryland Transportation Secretary Robert L. Flanagan said.

But it is still not clear what form of transit would be used for the line linking Bethesda and New Carrollton. Planners will chose between a light rail line running on its own tracks and a rapid bus system that could use existing roads or its own network of roadways.

Depending on the route and type of bus or rail line used, the transitway could cost from $375 million to $1.6 billion.


Instruments headed to Gulf students

A moving van left yesterday carrying the gift of music to an area hit hard by Hurricane Katrina.

The truck was loaded with more than 75 donated musical instruments for Our Lady Prompt Succor School in St. Bernard Parish, La.

Katrina wiped out the band room at the school, and many students also lost instruments at their homes in the flooding.

Red Cross volunteer Lynn Beebe of Finksburg, Md., who spent three weeks in the parish after Katrina, worked with Stu’s Music Shop in Westminster to organize the donation drive — called Project Band Aid.


Melee erupts after fireworks

Baltimore police on horseback helped break up a melee that broke out downtown after Tuesday night’s fireworks display.

The fight broke out in the area around Pratt and Redwood streets about 20 minutes after the display ended as thousands of people were heading home from the Inner Harbor.

Police needed about 30 minutes to restore order.


New bean-bag guns tops suspect

Anne Arundel County police captured a knife-wielding suspect after shooting him with a bean-bag shotgun, the county’s first use of the less-lethal ammunition since adopting it in May.

The man lunged at officers Monday with a steak knife — a situation in which officers normally are authorized to use lethal force, spokesman Lt. David Waltemeyer said.

Instead of using his handgun, an officer fired a specially loaded standard 12-gauge shotgun, hitting Timothy Lee Carnathan, 44, of Laurel, once in the chest, allowing other officers to disarm him.

Mr. Carnathan was taken to Laurel Regional Hospital for psychological evaluation and later released, Lt. Waltemeyer said. He has been charged in a warrant with eight counts, including felony assault, failure to obey a police officer and destruction of property. He had not been arrested as of yesterday.

County Police Chief P. Thomas Shanahan ordered the use of the bean bag ammunition in certain situations after a series of shootings involving county officers in May. The small sock filled with tiny lead shot carries a punch roughly equivalent to being hit with a 90 mph fastball, Lt. Waltemeyer said. If used properly, the rounds are intended to bruise their targets but not harm them.

Currently, 38 officers carry the ammunition.

Police went to Mr. Carnathan’s home about 3 p.m. Monday after receiving reports of a man throwing objects at passing cars. The windshield of one car was shattered by a hurled lead pipe, Lt. Waltemeyer said.

Officers eventually confronted Mr. Carnathan in his home. He lunged at them with the steak knife after first threatening to hurt himself, officers said.


Sex offender faces charges involving girl

A registered sex offender was arrested Friday and charged with soliciting a minor for sex.

Steven Paul Atkinson, 27, is accused of making sexual remarks to a 15-year-old neighbor. He was released from the Talbot County Detention Center on $10,000 bail.

According to charging documents, the girl told authorities she was walking home about 12:30 p.m. Friday, when Atkinson waved her to come over.

They had what she described as a normal conversation for a few minutes. Then, according to charging papers, Atkinson asked her when her mother was coming home and started making sexual remarks. He offered her money to expose herself.

The girl refused, but agreed to carry sodas up the stairs, which Atkinson asked her to do because he said he had a hernia, according to charging papers.

Atkinson touched her inappropriately several times, put $1 bills in the front of her shirt and shorts and handed her a $20 bill.

He asked the girl whether they could still be friends and she said yes out of fear, according to the papers. She then went home and phoned a friend of her mother’s to come pick her up.

Atkinson is listed as a “sexually violent offender” for charges of third- and fourth-degree sex offenses, the Easton Star-Democrat reported.



Man holes up after firing at agents

A man barricaded himself inside a house in the 3200 block of 13th Road South last night after he sideswiped a Jeep Cherokee carrying two federal agents and then fired at them, police said.

Arlington County police spokesman John Lisle said agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were involved in a minor accident on southbound Interstate 395 just before 6 p.m. The agents pursued the Ford Taurus, and gunfire was exchanged.

The suspect pulled off the interstate at Glebe Road, stopped the car and ran. Mr. Lisle said the agents chased him to the house, where one of the occupants was shot in the leg. His wounds were not thought to be life-threatening. His wife escaped uninjured.

Police cordoned off the area around the house and evacuated nearby residents. Shortly after 11 p.m., tear gas was fired into the house.

“There was no response, no return fire,” Detective Steve Gomez of the Arlington Police Department said. And the man did not immediately flee, he said.


Student’s body found in river

Searchers in Rockbridge County found the body of a Liberty University student who fell into the James River while rafting Friday.

Aaron Cooper’s body was found Tuesday, 500 yards from where he was last seen, by a Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries search boat crew.

Mr. Cooper, 21, a senior from Coventry, R.I., majoring in sports management, was not wearing a life jacket when he fell into the river.


Motions denied in Behl slaying

A Mathews County judge yesterday denied a defense motion in the case of an amateur photographer charged with killing a Virginia Commonwealth University student.

Benjamin Fawley, 38, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Taylor Marie Behl of Vienna, Va. He is accused of killing Miss Behl and dumping her body in a shallow ravine in rural Mathews County last fall.

The judge denied a request by Fawley’s attorneys to have potential jurors answer a questionnaire about their knowledge of the case and potential participants. Fawley’s murder trial is scheduled for next month.

The judge also denied a defense request to prevent prosecutors from introducing evidence of so-called “prior bad acts” that his attorneys say would unduly prejudice a jury.


Man indicted in missionary death

A grand jury has indicted a Chesapeake man on first-degree murder charges in the slaying of a Mormon missionary and the malicious wounding of another.

James Boughton Jr. 19, was indicted yesterday on charges involving the Jan. 2 shooting that killed Morgan Young, 21, of Bountiful, Utah, and wounded Joshua Heidbrink, 19, of Greeley, Colo.

Mr. Boughton also was indicted on an attempted malicious wounding charge of a third man and three related gun charges.

Mr. Heidbrink testified at a three-hour hearing in June that he and Mr. Young were going door to door evangelizing when they heard a shot and saw a man running toward them. The man shot him, then he saw Mr. Young on his knees looking up at the shooter, heard a pop then saw Mr. Young fall forward. He did not identify the shooter at the hearing.

Mr. Boughton is scheduled to stand trial Oct. 31.


Woman chargedi n abduction, killing

Philadelphia authorities have identified the body found in a minivan parked outside a Philadelphia police station as a Virginia Beach woman.

Police said Mary Knight, 72, died from gunshot wounds. Officers found her body Monday after Tanya Torrence, 35, walked into the South Philadelphia police station and turned herself in.

Virginia Beach police said the two women were acquaintances, and they have charged Miss Torrence with murder, abduction and a gun count. They asked that she be extradited to their state.

A Philadelphia police spokesman said Miss Torrence also faces charges there of being a fugitive and abuse of a corpse.

Virginia Beach police said the two women left Miss Knight’s house Saturday in Miss Knight’s Dodge Caravan.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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