Saturday, September 27, 2008


Deacon sentenced for sexual assault

A church deacon from Capitol Heights has been sentenced for sexually assaulting a prostitute at gunpoint, federal prosecutors said.

Colin Hatch, 23, was sentenced Friday to 14 years in prison. He was convicted July 21 of weapons and sexual abuse charges.

He picked up a prostitute in November in downtown Washington and agreed to pay her for sex, prosecutors said.

When the woman asked for payment first, he pulled a gun and sexually assaulted her.

After Hatch let the prostitute go, prosecutors said she called police after seeing him in the same area where he picked her up. Metropolitan Police Department officers arrested Hatch a few blocks from his home.



Teen, stepfather found dead in home

A young woman and her stepfather are dead in what police said appears to be a murder-suicide.

Jessica Murray, 18, was found fatally shot in the bathroom of the family home in Waldorf. Her stepfather, Christopher Murray, 39, turned the weapon on himself, police said. He was found in the kitchen with a shotgun at his side.

Police have not determined a motive.


Man’s body found floating in harbor

A man’s body was found Friday in the Inner Harbor, police said.

Officers were called to the 400 block of Light Street near the Spirit Cruises platform at about 7:10 a.m. Friday.

An employee of Spirit Cruises spotted the body floating in the water, police spokesman Detective Donny Moses said. Firefighters pulled the man’s body from the water and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police don’t know the man’s identity nor how long he was in the water, Detective Moses said. There did not appear to be any signs of trauma, but the body was sent to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy, he said.


Three men charged in campus robbery

University of Maryland police said they’ve charged three men who they say burst into an on-campus apartment and robbed a student at gunpoint.

It happened at about 1 a.m. Thursday in the Leonardtown apartment complex in College Park.

Police have charged Tyrone Walker, 20, of Cherry Hill, N.J., with armed robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, assault, theft over $500, and false imprisonment. Gabriel Cadiz, 20, of Philadelphia, and Nathaniel Smith, 21, of Camden, N.J., face the same charges, as well as conspiracy to commit assault, first-degree burglary, and theft under $500, police said.

The three men do not have ties to the university, police said.


Farm owner sticks with pig-wrestling

Despite warnings from Baltimore County animal control, the owner of a farm in Upperco said he’s still planning to host a pig mud wrestling event this weekend.

Stan Dabkowski, the owner of Spring Meadow Farms, said county officials believe the event involving 22 pigs planned for Saturday violates county code, which prohibits causing or instigating combat between animals or between animals and humans.

Teams of four people will have 90 seconds to capture a pig and put it in a barrel. The fastest team could win a cash prize. Mr. Dabkowski said he doesn’t consider the activity abusive or cruel and he says it’s not combat since no hitting or kicking would be involved.

Animal control officers will monitor the event. Mr. Dabkowski said he’s been warned that he faces a fine of up to $100 per pig for any violation.



40 cats in home; owners face charges

Public safety officials wearing hazardous materials gear removed about 40 cats and a dog from a Portsmouth town house.

Police came to the home early Friday morning after getting a hang-up 911 call. Police spokeswoman Ann Hope said officers were overwhelmed by the smell of cat feces and urine.

Officers found two adults and one 16-year-old upstairs asleep. Charges are pending, police said.

The property was condemned, said Theeta Raynor, the city’s manager of code enforcement.

The Portsmouth Humane Society issued a plea to the public to adopt some of the 130 cats already at the shelter to make room for the animals removed from the town house.


Probe doesn’t find all missing evidence

Nearly $20,000 and three of 12 missing firearms remain unaccounted for after a two-year internal review into to how evidence went missing at the Hopewell Police Department.

Chief Steven Martin announced the results of the review of the department’s property and evidence room Friday. It found that 87 drug cases had been compromised or affected as a result of narcotics that went missing.

Of the $85,000 initially reported missing, about $19,900 remains unaccounted for Chief Martin said. The review found that the majority of the cash appeared to be missing because of poor record keeping. Of the 12 firearms under review, nine have been located.

Virginia State Police and the International Association of Chiefs of Police are looking into the disappearance.


Buddhists denied permit for services

Buddhist monks who were denied a permit to hold services in their home are suing the city of Virginia Beach.

The Buddhist Education Center of America Inc. claims the city violated its religious rights as well as a federal law aimed at protecting faith organizations’ land-use rights.

The City Council last month voted 8-2 to deny the monks a two-year permit extension, forcing them to stop holding Sunday services at their home. Five monks live on the property.

Some neighbors had complained that the services drew too much traffic for a primarily residential area. But John Stepanovich, an attorney for the monks, said the services don’t attract any more people than a Sunday afternoon football party.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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