- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 26, 2008



Minister charged with abusing girl

Montgomery County police charged a former minister at a Gaithersburg church with sexually abusing a girl in the youth choir.

The Rev. Timothy Chun-Chock Mann, 47, worked at the First Baptist Church on West Diamond Avenue when the incidents began in 1992 and continued until 1996, police said.

Police said the abuse occurred mostly in the minister’s church office, starting when the girl was 14.

Mr. Mann now lives in Hoover, Ala., and works as a choir director at a church in Birmingham. He is charged with third-degree sex offense and child abuse.

Mr. Mann surrendered to Montgomery County police Thursday and was released on $100,000 bail.


Fetus could survive, doctor testifies

A Maryland assistant medical examiner testified that an unborn baby would have lived had it been delivered immediately after its mother was shot in a Parksville shopping center.

Dr. Tasha Greenberg testified yesterday that the baby could have survived after Elizabeth Walters was shot in June. David Miller, 25, is on trial on two counts of first-degree murder in the state’s first test of a viable fetus law passed 2½ years ago.

Dr. Greenberg said the baby was about 31 weeks along and weighed 3.3 pounds. When Miss Walters died three minutes after being shot, blood and oxygen flow to the baby stopped, Dr. Greenberg said.

The baby’s cause of death was the mother’s death, she said.


River closed for sewage spill

A stretch of the Wicomico River was closed after a sewage spill.

City Administrator John Pick said partially treated sewage escaped from the city’s wastewater treatment plant for about four minutes Sunday evening. Public access to the river was closed Monday afternoon.

The city is in the midst of an $80 million project to double capacity at the wastewater treatment plant.


Police impersonator arrested in car

Police arrested a man who they say impersonated a police officer by twice pulling over motorists last week.

David Bohorquez-Amado, 22, of Frederick, was arrested Monday after police spotted his black Chevrolet Impala, which matched the description of the vehicle used last Wednesday and Thursday in the traffic stops.

In both cases, police said, the bogus officer left after the drivers asked about his credentials. In one case, he was wearing a uniform.


Fire-damaged stores won’t open for years

The owner of two antique stores ruined in a huge fire says the rebuilding probably won’t begin until 2010.

Developer Brett Summers said he has until August 2009 to obtain a city building permit and expects to begin construction about six months later. The historic facades survived the Jan. 15 blaze on Race Street, but the walls and the roof must be rebuilt.

Mr. Summers said he cannot rebuild sooner because he needs to secure funding and finish other projects.

Meanwhile, he said, an adjacent apartment building damaged in the fire should reopen by the end of the month. A Salvation Army thrift store plans to reopen in the first week of April.


Landfill employee kept diary of thefts

An employee at the Wicomico County landfill kept a diary documenting thefts that led to criminal charges against two senior landfill officials and an area contractor, Sheriff Mike Lewis said.

Sheriff Lewis said the employee is one of two he interviewed recently. Neither is likely to face criminal charges, however, because they ceased involvement after discovering that their actions might be illegal.

Sheriff Lewis is investigating the theft of $1 million in diesel fuel and auto parts.

Landfill superintendent Kenneth Townsend and his second in command, Paul Tomaszewski, were charged Feb. 19 with felony theft scheme and felony theft conspiracy. Contractor Ray Lewis faces the same charges.


Sailing hall group threatens to move

The National Sailing Hall of Fame is threatening to choose another city if city leaders don’t publicly support a City Dock location.

Historic waterfront preservationists oppose the William H. Burtis home as the site of the Hall of Fame.

Founding member Doug Lashley said his group could relocate to another city if Annapolis leaders don’t support the Burtis site.

Mayor Ellen O. Moyer supports the Burtis home location, but Alderman Richard E. Israel has offered a competing proposal, saying the state might own the property on which the house sits.

Hall of Fame members have considered six locations and spent $100,000 evaluating the Burtis house.


Student beaten during melee at bar

A college student was hospitalized after she was attacked at a bar in Fells Point, friends said.

Earica Flood, 22, suffered a broken nose and a torn liver during the scuffle early Sunday at Cheerleaders Bar on Broadway.

Relatives and friends said the trouble started after Miss Flood apparently bumped into another woman. They said Miss Flood apologized, but the woman started a fight and four other women joined the fray, beating and kicking Miss Flood.

A manager told WBAL-TV (Channel 11) that the fight lasted no more than 15 seconds and the women were ejected. The manager said Miss Flood’s friends refused medical attention for her when bar workers asked whether she needed help.

Employees said they didn’t call 911 because they didn’t think the incident was serious.

Miss Flood’s purse was taken, and police consider the case an aggravated assault and robbery.



Driver’s ed cars stolen from schools

Three driver’s education cars were hot-wired and stolen from two Henrico County high schools during the weekend, police said.

Henrico County police said two vehicles were stolen from a fenced area at Henrico High School sometime Friday night and another car was vandalized. The theft was discovered early Saturday by a police officer on patrol.

Lt. Doug Perry said the lock securing the fenced area was cut.

School officials discovered yesterday that a vehicle at Highland Springs High School had been stolen and another vehicle vandalized. Police said the lock on the fence there also was cut. Keys for the vehicles were not available.

Henrico schools are closed this week for spring break.


ICE arrests 34 construction workers

Federal immigration authorities yesterday arrested 34 Latin American nationals at a Prince William County construction company for being in the U.S. illegally.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the workers are from Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica and El Salvador. They are in ICE custody undergoing deportation proceedings.

The arrests occurred at work sites for CMC Concrete Construction in the Manassas area.

ICE spokeswoman Ernestine Fobbs could not discuss why the construction company drew federal attention, saying two search warrants executed in connection with the operation were under seal.


Two Guard units called to active duty

The Pentagon has called to active duty Virginia National Guard units from Manassas and Powhatan.

Maj. Gen. Robert Newman Jr. said about 170 soldiers from the Manassas-based 266th Military Police Company and about 160 soldiers from the Powhatan-based 180th Engineer Company will enter active federal service in early October.

He said the units will serve as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. There was no word on when they will be deployed.

Gen. Newman said both units have started pre-mobilization training at their home armories as well as at Fort Pickett.

The Manassas unit will conduct its final mobilization training at Camp Shelby, Miss., and the Powhatan unit will head to Fort McCoy, Wis.


Inmate loses bid to see court records

A federal appeals court rejected a Virginia inmate’s attempt to use the state Freedom of Information Act to obtain prison documents.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that Joseph M. Giarratano failed to demonstrate that the state had no rational basis for denying inmates access to public records.

Giarratano wanted to use the state’s open records law to obtain the prison system’s treatment protocol for hepatitis C. However, a 1997 statute bars prisoners from using the Freedom of Information Act.

Giarratano was sentenced to death for the 1979 murders of a woman and her teenage daughter in Norfolk. He came within three days of being executed before his sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1991. He earned a reputation on death row and afterward as a skilled jailhouse lawyer who helped other inmates.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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