- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 22, 2007


Two arrested in officer’s stabbing

An off-duty Metropolitan Police officer aiding a security guard at a Northwest restaurant was in critical but stable condition yesterday after being stabbed, police said.

The officer, who has not been identified, was eating at Solos Restaurant and Carry Out in the 3500 block of 14th Street NW about 11 p.m. Friday when a security guard tried to detain an assault suspect.

The off-duty officer helped get the suspect outside. Outside the restaurant, the officer was stabbed in the struggle.

Police arrested Jose Villarta of 13th Street in Northwest at about 9:15 a.m. yesterday and charged him with assault with intent to kill. Police also charged Jose “Tito” Diaz, 19, with assault with a deadly weapon.

Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier late yesterday ordered the restaurant closed for 96 hours while the incident is investigated.

Police said yesterday that since Aug. 1 officers have been dispatched to Solos on at least nine occasions. Six of the calls were for assault.



Murder case dropped after witness shot

Authorities have dropped murder charges against a man suspected in a triple homicide at a group home.

The charges against Corey McMillon were dropped because a key witness in the case has been charged with attempting to rob a bank and was shot by police.

A prosecutor also said the case was dropped because two persons who survived the 2005 shootings at the group home were not able to identify the suspect.

McMillon is serving a life prison term for an unrelated murder conviction.


College to rely on green electricity

St. Mary’s College of Maryland, the smallest public college in the state, has embarked on a program in which $45,000 from student fees will pay for renewable energy certificates.

The certificates help subsidize alternative methods of energy, such as wind-powered generators, which scientists say are significantly more environmentally friendly than conventional energy sources.

The program makes St. Mary’s one of a handful of colleges in the country to completely fund green electricity.

Out of the college’s 1,080 students who participated in the student body election this month, all but 75 voted to pay an extra $25 a year to fund the program.

The college is located on St. Mary’s River, a few miles from the Chesapeake Bay. It long has had an environmentally aware student body.

“This started with four of us, and it became 1,100 of us at a school of 1,900 people,” said Meredith Epstein, a senior and the co-chair of the Student Environmental Action Coalition. “It just shows that what the consumer wants can be brought about.”

In the fall, members of the faculty and administration joined the efforts.


Parole office lax on drunken drivers

A report by state auditors has found that the state probation and parole office has not been careful about making sure court-ordered monitoring devices are installed in the cars of convicted drunken drivers.

The findings were based on a small sample taken from a program in which “ignition interlock devices” are installed in vehicles.

The device keeps the vehicle from starting if it registers positive for alcohol consumption.

In a statement, Judith Sachwald, director of the Department of Public Safety’s Division of Parole and Probation, wrote that the agency is taking action to address the problems.



Peace Corps member died of head trauma

Police say a Fairfax woman volunteering with the Peace Corps in the Philippines was killed by blows to the head and there were signs that she had tried to ward off an attack.

Julia Campbell was found buried in a shallow grave in a Philippine mountain village.

A bloodstained wooden pole used to pound rice was found near the home of a suspect in Miss Campbell’s death. Miss Campbell, a freelance journalist, had been teaching English in the Philippines since October 2006.

Chief Inspector Mamerto Bernabe, who led the autopsy, said that the 40-year-old suffered “multiple blunt traumatic injuries of the head.”

Her arms also were injured, indicating that she tried to block the blows.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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