- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 5, 2007


3 killed when van rolls into pond

BRIDGEPORT — A van rolled into a pond yesterday after the driver got out to ask directions to a July Fourth barbecue, killing a woman and two children and leaving a third child in critical condition, authorities said.

The victims were in 15 to 20 feet of water for 20 to 25 minutes, Fire Battalion Chief Ismael Pomales said. Their names were not released.

The van’s driver apparently had stopped near a concession stand at Beardsley Park and left the vehicle to ask for directions, Chief Pomales said. The driver was still outside the van when it started to roll down a hill to a pond 60 or 70 yards away.


Search continues for missing boy

LOUISVILLE — A 4-year-old boy has been missing from his home near the Churchill Downs racetrack since Friday and offers for help in finding him are pouring in, officials said.

Cesar Ivan Aguilar-Cano was last seen playing outside his apartment building near the home of the Kentucky Derby. Police have said they do not think he was abducted.

There has been no indication where he might be, although police have received more than 100 tips, and authorities, friends and neighbors have conducted extensive searches.

“We’re running down every lead we’re getting at this point,” said Lt. Col. Tim Emington, an assistant police chief in Louisville. “We want to keep this in the public’s eye.”

Those close to the boy, including his mother, are cooperating in the investigation, a family spokesman said.


Man charged in murder-robbery

FRYEBURG — A man wanted in at least three Southern states has been arrested in connection with the killings of a manager and two customers during an apparent robbery at an outdoor gear store in New Hampshire.

All three victims were shot in the head.

Police arrested Michael Woodbury, 31, of Windham, Maine, on Tuesday and charged him with three counts of first-degree murder for the shootings a day earlier at the Army Barracks store in Conway, N.H. They declined to comment on a possible motive for the shootings, but the company that owns the store said it appeared to have been a robbery.

Mr. Woodbury also was wanted in South Carolina and Tennessee in armed-robbery cases and had warrants in Georgia on arson, burglary and forgery, police said.


Man accused of biting off girl’s lip, ear

NEW BEDFORD — Police were searching Tuesday for a man they say bit off the lip and ear of his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter in attacks that left her so mutilated doctors could not fully repair the damage.

Warrants were issued for Bryan James, 34, and the child’s mother, Jessica Silveria, 26. Authorities think the couple is in hiding.

Mr. James is wanted on assault and battery upon a child causing substantial bodily injuries. Miss Silveria is accused of permitting substantial injuries to a child younger than 14 and intimidation of a witness.


Woman dies setting off fireworks

MELVINDALE — A powerful firework exploded in the face of a woman trying to set it off, killing her as her fiance and 8-year-old son watched, police said.

Danialle Barse, 27, was unfamiliar with the commercial-grade aerial firework she was using Monday night, said Mike Welch, a police detective in this Detroit suburb.

“She basically killed herself in front of her children and her fiance,” Detective Welch said.

Miss Barse was also the mother of twin 2-year-old boys.


Woman attempts baby powder escape

LAS CRUCES — A woman tried to escape from jail guards using baby powder, cocoa butter and lots of socks, deputies said.

Anita Rachel Thomas, 20, was able to wriggle out of leg irons because she was wearing six pairs of socks, authorities said. She used cocoa butter as a lubricant to slide the leg irons and handcuffs from around her ankles and wrists, officials said.

Thomas, freed from restraints in a jail transport van outside Las Cruces Magistrate Court on Tuesday, threw baby powder at an officer, pushed him out of the way and tried to run past him, Dona Ana County sheriff’s officers said.

She made it about two feet past the officer when he grabbed her, they said.

She struggled but stopped when his partner drew his pistol and demanded that she show him both her hands, authorities said. She then was put back in leg irons and handcuffs.

A grand jury will be presented today with charges of battery against a peace officer and attempted escape against Thomas, said Bo Nevarez, Dona Ana County sheriff’s investigator.


Man who shot snorkeler sentenced

REEDSPORT — A man who shot a snorkeler in the head after mistaking him for a large, water-dwelling rodent has been sentenced to 2½ years in prison.

William Roderick, 60, pleaded guilty to assault, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of marijuana and methamphetamine, prosecutor Jeffrey Sweet said.

The victim, John W. Cheesman, 44, survived the Feb. 6 shooting. The bullet from the .22-caliber rifle struck him in front of his right ear, but did not penetrate his skull.

“He aimed, but he did not look,” Mr. Sweet said. “It was extremely reckless.”


President Polk’s home vandalized

COLUMBIA — Someone spray-painted graffiti on the home of President James K. Polk, authorities said.

The words “meat,” “glue” and “SMR” were written around the front door of the home, built in 1816 by the president’s father about 45 miles south of Nashville.

Polk home director John Holtzapple said the home’s curator discovered the vandalism about 7 a.m. Monday, and it was cleaned the same day.

The Polk home is the 11th president’s only surviving residence aside from the White House. It is now a museum.


Man arrested in mob beating

AUSTIN — A man was arrested in the beating death of a passenger riding in a car that struck and injured a toddler, and more arrests were likely, police said.

Kurtiss Colvin, 20, was being held yesterday on felony charges of manslaughter and theft and a misdemeanor charge of assault, police said. Bond was set at $215,000.

David Rivas Morales, 40, died of blunt-force trauma to the head on June 19 after being attacked while trying to protect a driver who had bumped a toddler, authorities said. The child was not seriously hurt.

“The investigation is definitely far from over,” police Sgt. Hector Reveles said. “We have talked to a lot of people. And we believe there are several more people that are involved.”

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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