- The Washington Times - Friday, May 19, 2006



Gunman’s family offers condolences

Attorneys for the family of Michael Kennedy, the teenager who killed two Fairfax County police officers before being killed by police last week, offered their condolences to the second officer’s family in a statement yesterday.

Police have wanted to talk to Kennedy’s parents since the 18-year-old ambushed Master Police Officer Michael E. Garbarino and Detective Vicky O. Armel on May 8 outside the Sully District police station.

Officer Garbarino’s funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. today at McLean Bible Church, where Detective Armel, who died at the scene, was honored a week earlier.

Since the ambush, Kennedy’s family has been in seclusion, communicating only through their attorney.

Attorney Richard MacDowell said yesterday that the Kennedy family is expressing their deepest sympathy and regret to the family of Officer Garbarino, who died Wednesday.

“They are devastated that this tragedy has caused yet a new dimension of pain and sorrow,” the statement read.

“The Kennedy family does not believe that either Officer Garbarino or Detective Armel were known to Michael, but rather suspects that Michael embarked on his actions of May 8 as a result of his deteriorating mental condition,” the statement said.

Kennedy had recently escaped a psychiatric center in Rockville, where he faced carjacking and theft charges.

Mr. MacDowell said the Kennedy family hopes the shootings will lead to a greater focus on the need for mental health services in Virginia.

Police searched the home Kennedy shared with his parents shortly after the attack and found several guns and other weapons strewn about the house.

Mr. MacDowell released a statement last week saying that the family had kept all its weapons locked up and can only speculate that their son had broken into the containers.


Judge to consider grooming policy

A federal judge in Richmond will consider whether Virginia’s policy that restricts long hair and beards among state prisoners violates their religious rights.

The case stems from a lawsuit on behalf of five inmates — two of them Rastafarian and the rest Muslim — who say their religions restrict them from cutting their hair.

Assistant Attorney General Mark Davis argued yesterday that the policy has to do with security. He said prisoners may hide weapons in their hair and could change their appearance by trimming their hair if they ever escaped. He said female prisoners have a similar restriction.

But American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia attorney Rebecca Glenberg said other states don’t have that policy and those that do don’t see any substantial improvement in prison safety.

The judge did not rule on the case yesterday.


Council seeks ouster of indicted mayor

The Town Council has voted to seek removal of the mayor, who is under indictment on charges of election fraud and corruption.

The vote was taken Thursday night in the absence of Mayor Ben Cooper, who couldn’t attend because he’s under house arrest.

The process for removing Mr. Cooper, 63, from office calls for collecting signatures from at least 10 percent of the voters in the May 2004 election and then filing a petition in Wise County Circuit Court. A judge will then decide whether he displayed enough negligence, incompetence or misuse of his office to warrant removal from office.

Before beginning the legal process, Town Attorney Michael Abbott will write a letter to Mr. Cooper, asking him to step down voluntarily.

Mr. Cooper refused to resign following his March indictment.



Suspect steals police car

Hyattsville police had one man in custody and were looking for two more after a chase involving a stolen police car.

Police Chief Douglas Holland said police saw three men in a stolen car shortly after 4 p.m. near Editor’s Park Drive and East-West Highway. Police pursued the car to Sligo Parkway and Tuckerman Street, where the three men bailed out of the car.

Two of suspects were caught following a foot chase, but Chief Holland said one of them got away and stole a police car. That car was later found abandoned near Westpark Drive and Fordham Street in Adelphi.

Police were looking for the man who stole that car early yesterday evening.

One of the Hyattsville officers who was pursuing the stolen car was in an accident with another car.

Chief Holland said his injuries are minor.


Man pleads guilty to downloading porn

A Bowie man who downloaded a vast amount of child pornography from his work computer has pleaded guilty in federal court.

Robert Carey, 52, has agreed to serve 15 years in prison, but the judge will decide at sentencing whether that’s appropriate.

Carey worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for more than 30 years. He admitted to downloading child porn at work over a 10-year period.

When they searched his home, authorities found more than 1 million sexually explicit images of children.

Among those images were pictures of a family member taken when she was between 8 and 13 years old. Some of the pictures were taken at Carey’s office, and they included photos of sexual acts between Carey and the girl.


Man arrested again for luggage theft

A Baltimore man who was arrested after he was observed removing bags from luggage carousels for two different flights is facing luggage theft charges for the third time in five years, police said.

Timothy Michael Loose Jr., 39, was arrested Thursday for stealing items from nine pieces of luggage at the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Mr. Loose was arrested after a Maryland Transportation Authority Police detective observed him leaving four pieces of luggage in front of a Northwest Airlines ticket counter door and then loading two bags from a Continental Airlines baggage carousel, which he later rummaged through.

He was arrested after he could not produce claim tickets for the luggage, police said.

Police said Mr. Loose is thought to have also rummaged through other bags. Items recovered from Mr. Loose when he was arrested included DVD players, necklaces, earrings, and an IPod music player, police said.

Mr. Loose had been charged in 2001 and 2002 with stealing luggage at BWI.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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