- The Washington Times - Monday, April 23, 2007


Restaurant closed after officer stabbed

A restaurant on 14th Street Northwest is temporarily closed and may lose its liquor license after an off-duty D.C. police officer was stabbed outside.

Police spokesman Sgt. Joe Gentile said the officer was in Solo’s Restaurant late Friday night when he saw two men assault a third. The men were taken outside, where one stabbed the officer.

The officer is in critical but stable condition at a hospital, and two suspects were arrested. The policeman is not being identified because he is considered a witness, Sgt. Gentile said.

Places that sell alcohol have been under increased scrutiny lately after recent violence inside or near several establishments.

D.C. Council member Jim Graham, Ward 1 Democrat, said he expects a challenge to Solo’s liquor license. A restaurant spokesman said the establishment will fight any challenge.

Ramsey mentioned for Chicago job

Former Metropolitan Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey may be interested in returning to the city where he started his policing career, according to a published report.

Mr. Ramsey told the Chicago Sun-Times in a story yesterday that he hasn’t decided whether to apply for the top police job in Chicago. Police Superintendent Philip J. Cline announced his retirement April 2 amid complaints about the department’s handling of misconduct accusations.

Mr. Ramsey, 59, also says he has “a great deal of respect” for Mayor Richard M. Daley and he thinks that planning for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games — if Chicago wins the honor — would be an exciting challenge.

“But I haven’t made up my mind,” Mr. Ramsey said. “At this point in my life, there are family and financial considerations.” He said he has not been contacted by the city about the job.

Mr. Ramsey worked 27 years for the Chicago police force, rising from cadet to a top-ranking officer. In 1998, he was a favorite to become superintendent, but the post went to someone else.

Mr. Ramsey then took the chief’s job in the District. He resigned late last year after Adrian M. Fenty was elected mayor, and started a consulting business.



Hair evidence excluded in murder trial

Harford County prosecutors expect to wrap up their case today against a 35-year-old man accused of killing an Elkton woman, but the jury may not see one piece of evidence.

In motions hearings earlier this month, prosecutors said a strand of hair caught near the wheel of Charles Eugene Burns’ Dodge Neon reinforced their theory that a bolt on his car punctured Lillian Abramowciz Phelps’ skull.

The hair appeared to be the same color as Miss Phelps’ bleached-blond hair, but no DNA test was conducted.

Circuit Judge Stephen M. Waldron upheld the state’s option to introduce the hair as evidence, though in two days of testimony neither side has mentioned it.

Mr. Burns’ attorneys argue that there is no evidence that Mr. Burns, a laborer who was living with his grandparents in Bel Air at the time of his arrest, was responsible for the death of Miss Phelps, 43. They said no evidence was found in his home or the inside of his car and no witnesses saw the two.

Most of the testimony has focused on what Miss Phelps was doing before she vanished and how her body was discovered and identified. Her body was found June 14 near a cornfield, two weeks after she left an Aberdeen home she and a friend had been visiting.

After prostitutes said that Mr. Burns attacked them, prosecutors said Miss Phelps’ blood and the blood of another woman were found under Mr. Burns’ car.

Mr. Burns, who is charged with first-degree murder in Miss Phelps’ death, was charged with sexual assault and attempted murder in the other cases and authorities said he might be linked to three other killings. However, discussion of charges in other cases is not admissible in the murder trial.

On Friday, a Sprint engineer testified that on the night Miss Phelps was last seen, Mr. Burns’ mobile phone connected twice with an Aberdeen cell tower, placing his phone within a 2-mile radius of the tower.

But under cross-examination, the engineer said the phone also connected with the same tower several times on at least 10 other days in May.


Man charged in fatal hit-and-run

State police have charged a Baltimore County man in the fatal hit-and-run crash on the Baltimore Beltway early yesterday morning.

Police said Matthew Tracy, 24, of Towson, turned himself in to police yesterday afternoon. He is charged with leaving the scene of a property damage crash and leaving the scene of a fatal crash.

The crash occurred about 3:30 a.m. on the Inner Loop between Dulaney Valley Road and Providence Road.

Tailey Subah, 24, of Philadelphia, was changing a tire and was hit by Mr. Tracy’s van as he leaned in the driver’s side window, police said. Three of Mr. Subah’s friends asleep inside the car weren’t hurt.

Police are processing Mr. Tracy’s white 1996 Dodge Ram extended van, which had damage to the right headlight and passenger side and is missing the passenger side mirror.


Students suspended for school-hours party

The principal of Rockville High School has suspended 26 students after police caught them drinking and partying during school hours.

The students must all bring their parents to school for a meeting with the principal.

Principal Debra Munk noted that it is easy for students to use text messages and the Internet to arrange parties for when their parents aren’t home. She said she refuses to tolerate students skipping school.


Motorcyclist killed after fleeing police

A Landover woman on a motorcycle was killed yesterday in a crash as she sped away from a trooper on Montrose Road, state police said.

At about 11:30 a.m., a trooper spotted two motorcyclists traveling 75 mph in a 55 mph zone just before the high-occupancy vehicle sky ramp on northbound Interstate 270. He signaled for them to stop.

Police said Jean Devaughn Patterson, 41, pulled over, but took off as the trooper approached her on foot.

With the trooper in pursuit, the motorcyclists abruptly took the exit for eastbound Montrose Road and passed a car on the single-lane ramp.

Miss Patterson’s 2006 Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle hit a concrete curb and crashed east of Hitching Post Lane, not far from the exit, and she was killed.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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