- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 27, 2008


Mortally wounded child found at fire

A young girl was found mortally wounded Friday in a burning Southeast home, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

Officers were led to the child in a bizarre series of events that started about 6 a.m., when a wounded woman flagged down police and directed them to the fire.

Firefighters arrived about 6:30 a.m. to find the girl unconscious on the second floor. A police spokesman said the girl appeared to have been about 9 years old and seemed to have been stabbed. She later died at a hospital.

The woman had stab wounds in her chest.

Police and fire officials are investigating the cause of the fire and the cause of the girl’s death.

Neighbors said the victims lived in the house with a man and that they kept to themselves.



Harley delivers inaugural cycles

A Frederick Harley-Davidson dealer has delivered 12 specially equipped motorcycles to the Metropolitan Police Department for use during President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration parade Jan. 20.

The motorcycles were delivered Friday morning on two flatbed trucks.

It’s the fifth consecutive inauguration the dealership has been the successful bidder to supply the motorcycles with sidecars for the department.

Fully equipped, the bikes cost $35,000.


Watchdogs suggest voting warranty

A government watchdog group has an idea for the next time Maryland buys voting equipment: Get a warranty.

Common Cause Maryland is proposing the idea now that the state has announced an $8.5 million claim to recover unexpected expenses from what it said were flawed voting machines purchased in 2001.

The group said it makes sense to protect a major investment in democratic infrastructure with a warranty.

Ryan O’Donnell, the group’s executive director, said the state shouldn’t rush into a major purchase from a vendor without the same kind of guarantee a person would expect when buying a house or car.


Descriptions issued on mall shooters

The Montgomery County Police Department said Friday it has descriptions but no names for the remaining suspects in a Wheaton mall shooting.

Police described the suspects as three males and one female in their late teens or early 20s. Police have studied surveillance video from Tuesday’s shooting at Westfield Wheaton Shopping Centre.

The shootings are the result of members of two rival gangs arguing that night, then having a gunfight. Police said two gang members fired shots in the mall parking lot, hitting a gang member once. Two women standing nearby have minor cuts after gunshots broke a car window.

No other injuries were reported. Police said they have arrested one shooter, a 19-year-old male, but the second shooter remains at large.


Man charged in porn investigation

An Oakland man was arrested Friday after a five-month investigation revealed he had sexual contact with a girl at a photography studio in his house, according to the Garrett County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s deputies said James Crabtree, 55, took partially nude photographs of an underage girl and had inappropriate sexual contact with her. Police began investigating in July on reports of the actions in his home and photography studio, also inside his house.

Police seized computers and photography equipment from Mr. Crabtree’s home when he was arrested. Detectives seized suspected child pornography and evidence tied to the investigation. Mr. Crabtree was being held on suspicion of sexual offenses, assault, sexual solicitation of a minor, exploitation and possession of child pornography.



Search scaled back for missing plane

The search for three men whose plane disappeared in Guyana in November has been reduced.

The twin turboprop aircraft was reported missing Nov. 1 after it did not return from an aerial geophysical survey.

Two of the missing men - Harrisonburg residents Wes Barker and Chris Paris - are pilots for Bridgeport-based Dynamic Aviation Group Inc. The third, Patrick Murphy, is an equipment operator from Canada.

A Dynamic Aviation spokesman said a search conducted by government and military personnel from several countries, as well as volunteers and Dynamic Aviation employees, didn’t find anything.

The spokesman said the search has been scaled back to a ground crew and high-resolution image analysis.

&#8226: From wire dispatches and staff reports

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