- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 21, 2006


Metro bus attacked by youths in Northeast

A group of juveniles attacked a Metro bus yesterday afternoon in Northeast, officials said.

Metro officials said rocks were thrown and the bus was fired on by a group of juveniles, but police said there was no evidence of gunshots.

The incident happened about 4:45 p.m. at the intersection of Montana and Rhode Island avenues on B-8 bus running to Fort Lincoln.

A group of boys got on the bus at the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station. The bus continued to Montana Avenue. There, another group of boys got on the bus and some started pounding on the side of bus, Metro spokeswoman Candice Smith said.

One of the boys threw a rock that broke a window, she said. She also said two gunshots were fired, one of which hit the bus.

Officer Quintin Peterson, a spokesman for D.C. police, said further investigation found that no gunshots were fired.

Officials think it was a targeted attack between the two groups, Miss Smith said.

There were no arrests, and no one was injured.



Worker found unconscious dies

A construction worker who was rescued from a manhole after being knocked unconscious died yesterday morning, authorities said.

Walter Arnette, 25, of an unknown address, fell into 2 to 3 feet of water and showed no signs of life when rescued Tuesday afternoon. He was revived but died at Southern Maryland Hospital in Clinton.

Mr. Arnette and another man were working in a new housing development in the 10100 block of Marlboro Pike when both men passed out about 1 p.m. in a sewer shaft 15 to 20 feet below ground.

A co-worker above ground called emergency workers who forced fresh air into the shaft, enabling the other man to put a line around Mr. Arnette so rescuers could pull him out, fire officials said.

The other man was rescued and, in serious but stable condition at a hospital.

Mark Brady, a fire department spokesman, said low levels of an odorless, combustible liquid found at the bottom of the shaft will be tested.


Venue changed in guard’s slaying

The trial of a state prison inmate charged with fatally shooting a correctional officer with the officer’s gun will be moved out of Washington County, a judge decided Tuesday.

Brandon T. Morris’ public defenders argued during the Washington County Circuit Court hearing that Morris couldn’t get a fair trial in the county because of extensive publicity about the Jan. 26 slaying of Officer Jeffery A. Wroten at Washington County Hospital.

Morris had the right under Maryland law to have his case automatically moved to another jurisdiction because he faces the death penalty if convicted. He is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and other offenses.

Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright III agreed to the change of venue, with the location to be decided next week.

Officer Wroten, 44, of Martinsburg, W.Va., was guarding Morris’ hospital room when he was fatally shot in the head early in the morning of Jan. 26. Morris, 20, was serving an eight-year sentence at the nearby Roxbury Correctional Institution for assault, robbery and handgun convictions in Baltimore. He had been admitted to the hospital the previous day for what prosecutors said was a self-inflicted wound.



Escaped emu avoids capture

Animal-control officers and police are looking for an emu that escaped earlier this week from a farm.

Three emus escaped about 3 p.m. Monday from a farm near the 15000 block of Braddock Road, Fairfax County police said. Emus are large, flightless birds resembling the ostrich.

One emu found its way home while animal control captured a second in the 5300 block of Chandley Farm Circle. The third emu was last sighted yesterday, near Kamputa Drive and Sully Park Drive.

Authorities have asked people to pay close attention when driving near that area. They said the emu most likely will stay off the highway unless scared or cornered.

Anyone with information about the emu should call the Fairfax County Animal Shelter at 703/830-1100.

Search continues in I-395 shooting

Police yesterday continued to search for evidence and a gunman who fired a slug through the window of a dump truck early Tuesday, blocking traffic on Interstate 395 near Alexandria for about four hours.

Truck driver Carlos Dipp Guzman, 60, of Alexandria, was slightly injured in his upper right arm by a shard of window glass, not a bullet.

Police yesterday continued to search for a metal slug, casing or chip in the area of the shooting.

Sgt. Terry Licklider, a state police spokesman, said the damage was probably not from a slingshot or BB gun because the wooded area on the east side of I-395 is too far away for damage from those weapons.

Police have speculated that any projectile went out through the driver’s window, which was open, because no fragments were found in the truck cab.


Highway crackdowns nags thousands

State police cited more than 5,000 motorists during a two-day crackdown on Interstates 95 and 81.

The Sept. 14-15 patrols were part of “Operation Air, Land and Speed,” which yielded more than 20,000 summonses and arrests during its three phases, state police said.

The initiative, begun in July, was designed to save lives by getting drivers to slow down, said Col. W. Steven Flaherty, superintendent of Virginia State Police.

Last week’s final phase resulted in stops of 1,826 speeders on I-81 and 238 reckless drivers. Troopers cited 988 speeders on I-95 and 370 reckless drivers.

Authorities stopped 23 suspected drunken drivers, 17 of them on I-95.

Traffic stops related to the last phase of the operation also resulted in six drug arrests.

The first phase of the operation netted 9,315 summonses and arrests on I-95 and I-81. The second phase resulted in 5,999 summonses and arrests on the two routes.


Woman who left son confined for tests

A woman who left her 4-year-old son alone on the side of the Capital Beltway has been ordered into custody for mental-health tests.

Channoah A. Green, 23, of Newport News, was ordered by a judge into the custody of the state mental health department Tuesday, five days after a jury found her not guilty by reason of insanity on a charge of felony child neglect.

Miss Green’s attorneys argued that she suffered a psychotic episode, brought on by stress and sleep deprivation, when she put her son, Noah, out of the car on the Beltway in Falls Church in July 2005.

State law requires a person found not guilty by reason of insanity to be placed in the tem-porary custody of the state to determine whether they should be committed or released.

But Fairfax Circuit Judge Marcus D. Williams allowed Miss Green to leave the courthouse after last Thursday’s verdict. He said he wanted to research how to place Miss Green, then free on bail, in the custody of mental health officials.

Miss Green lost custody of her son, who is with an aunt and uncle in New Jersey, her attorney said.


Fire ants infest college soccer field

Mounds of fire-ant mounds at Tidewater Community College’s athletic fields have bumped hundreds of youths from soccer practice.

Mike Tilley, an inspector with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services examined the infestation yesterday to come up with a plan to exterminate.

The aggressive ants, known for their venomous, repeated stings, were discovered Monday. They are not considered a threat to students or the main building, but their presence is likely to disrupt the soccer season for about 900 children in the Chesapeake United Soccer Club who use the fields.

Mr. Tilley said the insects become aggressive when their mounds are disturbed. A man described as highly allergic to stings died after being attacked by fire ants in Virginia Beach two weeks ago.

Fire ants first showed up in eastern Virginia in the early 1990s.


Doctor convicted in delegate fraud case

A Petersburg doctor has been convicted of obstructing an FBI investigation and making a false statement after federal authorities said he signed two competency letters that helped a Virginia lawmaker commit bank fraud.

Clarence Scranage Jr. was convicted Tuesday and faces up to 25 years in prison and $500,000 in fines when he is sentenced Dec. 15.

The charges relate to a 2004 investigation of former Virginia Delegate Fenton Bland, a Democrat who is serving a 57-month federal prison sentence for forging deeds to property owned by a Petersburg resident. Bland has been ordered to repay $1.2 million for his role in the scheme to get loans for a Richmond funeral home he owned.


Movie skips tale of Pocahontas

The famous story of Pocahontas rescuing Capt. John Smith did not make the cut in a new movie about the founding of Jamestown, America’s first permanent English settlement.

The film — “1607: A Nation Takes Root” — will debut next month at the Jamestown Settlement museum. It will premiere in conjunction with new galleries opening Oct. 16.

The 23-minute movie shows Smith being captured by Indians and taken to the powerful chief, Powhatan. But no mention is made of Powhatan sparing Smith’s life at the behest of the chief’s daughter, Pocahontas.

Senior curator Thomas Davidson said that while the story is dramatic and well known, some have questioned whether it actually happened. And if it did, Mr. Davidson said, it is not as significant as other events in the film.

Pocahontas appears later in the movie, having married John Rolfe and traveled to England, where she later died.

From wire dispatches and staff reports



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