- The Washington Times - Monday, April 9, 2007


Officer remains in critical condition

A D.C. police officer injured during a Good Friday procession remained in very critical condition yesterday, police spokesman Sgt. Joe Gentile said.

Officer Wayne Pitt, 57, was taken to Washington Hospital Center where he underwent surgery for internal injuries. police Chief Cathy L. Lanier visited with his family.

“We pray for his full recovery,” she said on behalf of all police officers.

At 9:15 p.m. Friday, Officer Pitt was in his police car blocking traffic for an Easter procession at Mount Pleasant and Lamont streets Northwest. Accident investigators reported that he saw a motor scooter crossing into the traffic. He started to step out of the car to stop the scooter but tried to re-enter when he realized the car was still in gear and moving forward.

Officer Pitt was still partly outside the car when it hit the scooter, a parked car and a tree. The scooter rider and two occupants of the parked car were not injured.

Officer Pitt was a police officer in North Carolina for 20 years before joining the Metropolitan Police Department in May 2002.

Teen fatally stabbed near Gallaudet

A teenager was fatally stabbed early yesterday near Gallaudet University in Northeast, D.C. police said.

“He had multiple stab wounds and was dead,” spokesman Sgt. Joe Gentile said.

The victim was identified as Robert S. Beidleman Jr., age 15 or 16.

Police were called to an apartment in the 1800 block of Central Place about 12:30 a.m. Neighbors said they were awakened by the emergency activity but had no idea what had happened.



Doctor sues hospital over racial incident

A radiologist who was kicked out of the University of Maryland Medical Center after he performed a Muslim ritual has filed a $30 million lawsuit against the hospital.

The suit says Dr. Mohammed Hussain was at the hospital last month to undergo surgery. He was washing his hands and feet in a sink in a lobby bathroom when a security guard came in and ordered him to get out “immediately or else.”

Dr. Hussain’s attorney, David Ellin, said the guard made references to Dr. Hussain as if he were a terrorist and used racial epithets. He said Dr. Hussain was pushed down a hallway and into the custody of another security guard, who escorted him outside.

The hospital said that medical personnel reached out to Dr. Hussain after the incident and that it was “disappointed” that he filed a lawsuit.


Metro train hits person at station

A person was struck by a Metro train last night at the Suitland station.

The person, whose sex and identity were not available, was hit by a Green Line train heading toward Branch Avenue about 8:30 p.m., a Metro spokeswoman said.

The victim was taken to a hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening. The station returned to normal service about an hour after the accident.


Police officer arrested on assault charge

Prince George’s County police served an arrest warrant Friday charging Cpl. Keith Washington with first-degree assault in an incident Thursday at his home in Accokeek.

Cpl. Washington turned himself in later in the day. A District Court commissioner set bail at $75,000.

Cpl. Washington, who was the second in command of the county’s homeland security department, is charged with pulling a gun on a real-estate appraiser who came to his door by mistake Thursday, police said.

In January, Cpl. Washington shot Brandon D. Clark, 22, and Robert White, 36, when they delivered furniture to his home. Mr. Clark died a week later.

Cpl. Washington was placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of an investigation into the shootings.



Coyotes pose danger for small dogs, cats

Cats and dogs may be more at risk of being snatched away by coyotes now than at other time during the year because the animals are out hunting to feed their pups, state game officials said.

Although the elusive coyotes normally avoid people, H.G. Vaughn said he and his neighbor watched one hunt this week within 150 feet of his house. They also heard a pack of coyotes track prey, communicating by barking, yelling and howling.

“We heard the coyotes sounding off,” said Mr. Vaughn, chairman of the Henry County Board of Supervisors. “All of a sudden, I guess they would corner some game.”

Dan Lovelace, district wildlife biologist with the state Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, said such experiences are common, especially in the spring.

The coyote is an opportunistic predator and feeds on small animals, Mr. Lovelace said. Domestic animals, especially small dogs and cats, may be at risk, and he cautioned against keeping pets outside unattended.

Although coyotes aren’t likely to attack humans, the game department suggests that small children shouldn’t be left unattended in areas frequented by coyotes.

Coyotes “are very active as the male and females work together to try to provide food for their pups,” Mr. Lovelace said. They hunt in family groups, which may include the mother, father and older offspring.

There is no way to gauge the number of coyotes living in the area, Mr. Lovelace said. However, he said, coyote populations have been increasing in the area for several years, “and they are definitely here to stay.”

Residents can help keep coyotes away from their homes by removing food sources, such as pet food for domestic animals, according to the game department’s Web site. People should also secure garbage-can lids to keep coyotes from overturning cans for an easy meal.

Game officials also recommend that people defend their living space when coyotes approach their homes. They suggest that people “yell, throw non-edible objects in the direction of the coyote or otherwise let the animal know it is not welcome,” according to the Web site.


BRAC hearing focuses on Belvoir

A public hearing will be held this month on the Army’s plans to relocate about 22,000 federal employees to Fort Belvoir.

The April 17 hearing at Mount Vernon High School will give residents a chance to speak and to view displays of the proposal.

After the hearing, the public comment period will continue until May.

The new jobs are coming to Fort Belvoir by 2011 as part of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission’s recommendations.

No military base in the country will see a greater influx of workers, who will double Fort Belvoir’s employment base. The additional commuters have sparked concerns that area roads will be overwhelmed.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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