- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 4, 2007


Worker rescued from 150-foot crane

A man operating a crane 150 feet in the air became ill yesterday and had to be rescued by D.C. firefighters.

Fire department spokesman Alan Etter said it was a complicated operation because the man weighed about 350 pounds.

The man was working on a building under construction when his co-workers realized he was having a problem because he was not responding to radio calls.

Mr. Etter said it took about an hour for firefighters to put the man on a platform and lower him to the building’s roof. There they began treating him before taking him to George Washington University Hospital.

The man is about 35 years old. It is not clear what kind of medical emergency he was having, but Mr. Etter said it was not life-threatening.

City veteran named new parks chief

D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty named a veteran of city government as the new director of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Clark Ray moves from the top post at the Office of Community Relations and Services.

Mr. Ray also was previously in charge of external affairs of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission, overseeing recreational sports facilities in the District.

He also worked in the White House during the Clinton administration.



Girl injured in fall from Six Flags ride

A 6-year-old girl fell from a ride at the Six Flags America amusement park yesterday, suffering minor injuries, authorities said.

The child was riding the Octopus, which the park describes as a mild thrill ride for children, when she fell, said Prince George’s County fire department spokesman Mark Brady.

Witnesses reported that she fell anywhere from four to 25 feet, Mr. Brady said.

The child apparently stood up on the ride just as it was starting, said Six Flags spokeswoman Karin Korpowski.

The girl was alert and conscious when paramedics arrived. She suffered possible head, hip and leg injuries that were not considered life-threatening, Mr. Brady said. As a precaution, she was flown to a hospital.

The Octopus takes riders up, down and spins in circles, according to the Six Flags America Web site.

Although park officials think the accident happened because the child was standing while the ride was moving, the ride was closed and will be inspected, Miss Korpowski said.


Woman again denied bond in infant death

An Ocean City woman accused of killing a newborn child three years ago was denied bond a second time yesterday.

Christy Freeman, 37, is accused of giving birth in 2004 and letting the baby drown in the toilet. She is charged with murder, said Mallory Knapp, a spokeswoman for Worcester County State’s Attorney Joel J. Todd.

The latest charges came after earlier murder charges of killing her unborn son last week were dismissed.

Maryland law allows for murder charges against those who kill a late-term fetus, but the law exempts pregnant women and their decisions about babies they are carrying.

Miss Freeman, owner of a taxi company serving Ocean City, came to police attention last week when she was treated at a hospital for heavy bleeding.

Doctors discovered Miss Freeman had recently given birth; a search of her home revealed the baby she had carried was dead, wrapped in a towel under her bathroom sink.

Searchers also found three more sets of tiny remains.

According to charging documents, Miss Freeman told police that at least one of those babies was born alive sometime in 2004, but she allowed it to drown in her toilet.

New murder charges were filed Thursday.


Woman guilty in newborn’s death

An Arnold woman who was tried as a juvenile in the death of her newborn was found delinquent, the juvenile equivalent of a guilty finding.

The 18-year-old will be released in 26 months from a juvenile facility.

The former Broadneck High School student hid her pregnancy and delivered the baby herself in December 2005.

She eventually threw the body in the trash. She was 17 at the time.

The judge said it was inconceivable that the woman let the child remain in the toilet for five or 10 minutes and then put it in a plastic bag.

Prosecutor Laura Kiessling said the woman murdered the baby because she simply did not help the child.


Judge considering ‘stun belt’ for inmate

A judge is considering requiring a state prison inmate charged with murder to wear a “stun belt” during his trial.

The device would enable a guard to remotely deliver an electric shock to stop Brandon Morris, 21, from trying to bolt from the courtroom again.

Morris tried to escape from court in May during the start of jury selection for his trial.

That led Howard County Circuit Judge Dennis Sweeney to recuse himself, but he still presided over a hearing yesterday.

Judge Sweeney warned Morris that he could be removed from court for further disruptions, and said he is considering proposals for tightened security, including a stun belt.

The judge also announced that retired Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Joseph Manck will preside over the trial.


Girl, 12, rescued from waist-deep mud

A 12-year-old was trapped in waist-deep mud for nearly four hours Wednesday, Harford County authorities said.

The incident happened near Haverhill Road in Joppatowne.

The girl’s father called police, and emergency crews rushed to the scene to keep the girl from sinking deeper into the mud.

Because of the remote location, firefighters had to build a platform just to get to the trapped girl.

The girl was eventually pulled to safety and flown to Johns Hopkins Pediatric Center.

Two volunteer firefighters were also treated for heat-related injuries.



Businessman jailed for bad tax returns

A local business owner was sentenced to two years in prison yesterday for filing nearly half a million dollars in false income tax returns.

Authorities said Jonathan H. Kroeber, 42, of Alexandria, owned and operated Pet Express Inc., an Internet-based pet food supply company, and filed false claims for returns on taxes that were not paid by the business between 1998 and 2003.

As part of a plea deal, Kroeber is required to file correct tax returns for those years. He also is ordered to pay $470,410 in restitution to the state and the Internal Revenue Service.


Body of missing man possibly recovered

Authorities said a body thought to be that of a man who died nearly four months ago in a boating accident on Smith Mountain Lake was recovered from the lake Thursday.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries think they recovered the body of David Reynolds, 44, of Grottoes. But the medical examiner’s office in Roanoke has not positively identified the remains.

Mr. Reynolds went missing after an April boating accident that killed Richard Smith, 64, of Moneta. Two other men were rescued.

Virginia game officials said the 33-foot wooden boat overturned as a result of high winds and a malfunction in the cooling system.

The body was found near the site of the accident.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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