Thursday, August 20, 2009



Officer injured in accident

A Prince George’s County Police officer was seriously injured Wednesday after her patrol car hit a utility pole.

A police spokeswoman said the accident occurred Wednesday afternoon on Ritchie Marlboro Road. She said the officer was responding to a priority call when she tried to avoid another driver but because of the rain, lost control of her cruiser and struck a pole.

County fire department spokesman Mark Brady said some wires from the pole also fell. Mr. Brady said crews faced a difficult extrication in rescuing the trapped officer and had to call additional resources to help in the effort.

The officer was hospitalized with serious, but not life-threatening injuries.


Four charged in credit card scheme

Howard County police have charged four Florida residents in a credit card theft scheme after financial information of about 100 people was found in a hotel room in Elkridge.

Police went to the Best Western on Aug. 10 after a housekeeper found suspicious documents in a trash can in a room. As police questioned the occupants, another person drove up to the hotel and then fled. That led to a pursuit and the fleeing suspect collided with three police cars.

Bridgette Arendas, 24, of Launderhill, Fla., was charged with assault of a police officer, credit card theft and other charges.

Also arrested were Lamisha Loffett, 33, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Jamie Frazier, 32, of Plantation, Fla.; and Wayne Curry, 35, of Launderhill, Fla.



Police charge man in store shooting

Arlington County Police have charged a 21-year-old man in a shooting that occurred last month at an Apple store in Arlington’s upscale Clarendon section.

Authorities said Byron Dean, who has no fixed address, has been charged with malicious wounding and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, among other charges.

Police said Dean rang a doorbell at the back of the store and shot a 26-year-old Apple employee who opened it. She was hit in the shoulder.

Dean had been in jail on unrelated charges since July 12. He is being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Center.


Physician’s assistant charged with battery

Fairfax County Police say a physician’s assistant was charged Wednesday with inappropriately touching patients.

Police say Jorge Sanchez, 49, of Hagerstown, Md., sexually assaulted two women between July 20 and Aug. 6, while they received care at the Chantilly Specialists Office on Parke Long Court in Chantilly.

Mr. Sanchez turned himself in Wednesday to authorities. He was charged with two counts of sexual battery.


Service restored after main break

Authorities said a water main break Wednesday left hundreds of Alexandria residents without water service.

A 12-inch main broke on South Reynolds Street near Duke Street early Wednesday, leaving about 600 people without water. Fire department spokesman Capt. Luis Santano said crews fixed the main and restored water service.

Capt. Santano said a section of the street will remain closed into the night as crews work to pave a hole they dug in the road. Officials expect to reopen the road by midday Thursday. The city says commuters should find another route.


Man accused of making bomb threats

Metro Transit Police have arrested a man for making bomb threats to the transit system.

Officials said police on Tuesday arrested Raymond A. Gray Jr., 38, who has no fixed address. Mr. Gray was accused of making bomb threat calls from five Metro stations in the District between January and last month.

A federal grand jury has charged him with five counts of willfully making a threat and/or maliciously conveying false information using fire and explosives.

Transit police continue to investigate Mr. Gray, and think he has made multiple bomb threat calls from Metro stations in the District and Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. They said he may face more counts to the current charges.

Metro implements new standards

Metro has implemented tougher hiring standards for job applicants.

The new standards are more far-reaching for those in front-line positions, such as bus drivers and train operators. Now, applicants for such positions may be disqualified for any one of seven reasons, rather than three, as was the case before.

The reasons include having a felony conviction within the past decade, a criminal conviction for crimes of violence or sexual abuse and any occurrence for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs within three years.

Metro officials said that all other job candidates will be disqualified for any felony conviction in the past five years and for two or more misdemeanor convictions for certain crimes in the past five years.

The new regulations went into effect earlier this month.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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