- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 13, 2008


Small airplane violates airspace

A single-engine airplane violated restricted airspace yesterday and got to within six miles of the U.S. Capitol before being diverted, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The airspace violation prompted security officials to temporarily raise the threat level from yellow to orange and order personnel in the Capitol to prepare to evacuate, but the incident was resolved before an evacuation was ordered.

A propeller-driven Cessna 177, which had taken off from Carroll County Regional Airport in Maryland, entered restricted airspace 30 miles north of Washington at 12:12 p.m. at 1,800 feet with no radio, FAA spokesman Hank Price said.

The intruding aircraft reached a point six miles northwest of the Capitol before being diverted and escorted by interceptor aircraft to Leesburg Executive Airport in Virginia where it landed at 12:44 p.m., Mr. Price said.

Capitol Police Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said the pilot was being interviewed.

Michael Kucharek, a spokesman with North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, said two F-16s were scrambled to intercept the plane as it headed south from Maryland.

A Coast Guard helicopter also was involved in the intercept and escort of the Cessna, said Lt. Gene Maestas, spokesman for the guard’s Mid-Atlantic region.

NORAD also used a laser system that visually warns pilots that they are in a restricted area, Mr. Kucharek said.

Tourists were turned away from the Capitol for a time. The threat level was soon returned to yellow, or elevated, and later, green — or low threat — according to police and other officials.



DNA ties murderer to 1996 rape, killing

Police have connected a convicted murderer to a rape and murder 12 years ago.

Byron Alonzo Huff, 43, is serving a 30-year-sentence at the Maryland Correctional Institution in Hagerstown for a 2002 murder.

He is now charged with first-degree murder in the death of Doris Smalls, who was raped and killed in her home in 1996. Police connected Huff to the crime after a DNA analysis in May.

Huff was convicted of the 2002 killing of Holly Keefe, 34, of Severn. Her body was found in the trash behind his home in Anne Arundel County.


Wheelchair thief pleads guilty

A teenager caught on video stealing a custom-built wheelchair from a Hagerstown Wal-Mart pleaded guilty to one count of theft.

John Huntzberry, 18, entered the plea yesterday in Washington County District Court. Judge Ralph France II granted Mr. Huntzberry probation before judgment and ordered 50 hours of community service.

Defense attorney Mary Riley said that Mr. Huntzberry feels b embarrassed and that he wrote a letter of apology to the victim.

Tony Faison is paraplegic and had left the wheelchair at the front of the store Dec. 14 while he used a motorized cart to shop. Surveillance video showed Mr. Huntzberry sitting down in the chair, doing some wheelies and then wheeling out of the store.


Student who fell put on life support

Mount St. Mary’s University officials say a senior there was placed on life support after injuring his head in a fall from the first-floor landing of a residence hall at the school.

Dustin Bauer, 22, of Lutherville, has been at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore since the accident early Sunday morning.

Monsignor Stuart Swetland said Mr. Bauer is being kept alive pending final farewells from family members who are having his organs harvested for transplant.

School spokeswoman Linda Sherman said the criminal justice major was with three other students when he leaned over a railing, lost his balance and fell more than 10 feet onto a tile floor. She said alcohol may have been a factor in the accident.


Caregiver guilty of stealing from man

A Hagerstown woman will avoid jail time after her guilty plea in the theft of thousands of dollars from a man in her care.

Traci Frederick, 42, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of obtaining property from a vulnerable adult. She was given a three-year suspended sentence and was ordered to serve three years of supervised probation.

Court documents say Frederick was working for a care services firm when she was asked privately by a family member to care for the victim one weekend in 2006. Court records show investigators found numerous checks spanning three months transferring money from the victim’s bank account to Frederick and her boyfriend.

The victim has since died. Frederick was ordered to pay $9,000 restitution to his estate.



Agreement reached on club’s hair policy

The owner of a Virginia Beach nightclub apologized to two patrons whom he banned from the property because of their dreadlocks.

The American Civil Liberties Union said Barry Davis, owner of Kokoamos Island Bar, Grill and Yacht Club, agreed to those terms and others that were not disclosed as part of a settlement.

The agreement was approved in U.S. District Court in Norfolk. It comes a month after the Justice Department worked out another settlement with Mr. Davis to enforce a new dress code and create a system to investigate complaints against employees.

The ACLU filed the suit after Kim Hines and Myron Evans, who are black and wear dreadlocks, sued Kokoamos, saying they were denied entry to the bar on separate occasions in the summer of 2006. The doormen told them anyone with braids, twists, cornrows or dreadlocks was prohibited inside the club.


Teen admits role in fatal shooting

A Norfolk teenager faces up to 43 years behind bars after pleading guilty to charges stemming from the shooting death of another teen.

Troy L. Wilkins, 15, pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree murder, attempted robbery and weapons charges. He was one of four teens charged in the Nov. 23 slaying of Dominic Young, also 15, who was killed while trying to protect his mother during a robbery outside a restaurant.

Wilkins is scheduled to be sentenced in September.

According to a statement, Wilkins told police that Dwayne Epps, 19, shot Dominic because it meant “street points” and gang respect.

“Rank is like people respect you more,” Wilkins told police. “And consider you a gangster.”

Mr. Epps is scheduled for trial in August on a capital murder charge, but prosecutors have said they will not seek the death penalty.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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