Monday, February 2, 2009


Gas odor interrupts parade

The annual Chinese New Year parade was suspended Sunday after reports of a heavy odor of gas, according to the D.C. fire department.

A department spokesman said the odor appeared to be coming from a manhole near Sixth and H streets Northwest, in Chinatown.

Crowds are gathered in the area for the parade.

The parade’s firecracker celebration was suspended as a precaution, and Washington Gas officials went to the scene.

Man dies after attack

A man who was ignored by passers-by after being assaulted outside a Columbia Heights grocery store died over the weekend, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

The victim, Jose Sanchez, died Friday night from a brain injury in the attack Tuesday. According to WJLA-TV, the 31-year-old was homeless.

Maxmillo Argueta, 32, and Humberto Escobar, 57, both of the District, have been charged with aggravated assault.

A police spokesman said the men face new charges after Mr. Sanchez’s death.

Police records show that Mr. Escobar told detectives that he punched Mr. Sanchez after he called Mr. Escobar a homosexual. He said others also hit Mr. Sanchez while he was on the ground outside the grocery store, on the corner of 14th Street Northwest.

A videotape shows people walking by as Mr. Sanchez lay incapacitated for about 20 minutes. He was unconscious when authorities arrived.

Two men die in shootings

The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating a fatal shooting and has made an arrest in another, both of which occurred in Southeast.

Police said Antwan Proctor, 22, of Oxon Hill, was killed by multiple gunshot wounds early Sunday at an apartment in the 3000 block of 13th Place Southeast.

Another man was fatally shot about an hour later and less than a mile away, in the 1500 block of Tubman Road Southeast. Police are not releasing the victim’s identity, pending notification of his family.

Police say they have arrested Mozella Jones, 43, in connection to the Tubman Road shooting. Miss Jones has been charged with second-degree murder while armed.



Firetruck crash injures 3 people

A firetruck crashed and injured three people Saturday, according to the Prince George’s County Fire Department.

A department spokesman said the truck was traveling east on Annapolis Road in response to a reported fire in New Carrollton. The truck hit three cars when it tried to maneuver through traffic stopped at a red light at the intersection of Annapolis and Riverdale roads.

The spokesman said a man and two women were taken to a hospital, and none of their injuries were considered life-threatening. No firefighters were hurt.

He also said routine procedure calls for fire personnel involved in crashes that cause injuries to undergo drug and alcohol screening.



Woman accused of driving into 5

A woman who was involved in a dispute at a nightclub early Sunday morning reportedly drove her vehicle onto a sidewalk and struck five women, according to the Richmond Police Department.

Police Lt. Herman Loney said Mary C. Bagley, 26, has been charged with five felony counts of malicious wounding over the incident, which occurred shortly before 2 a.m. Police said none of the women suffered serious injuries.


Police identify man in barricade

The Alexandria Police Department has identified the man suspected of shooting a woman in an apparent domestic dispute.

Police say James Downs, 44, shot the woman Thursday morning at an Alexandria town house and then barricaded himself inside. He kept police officers at bay for 12 hours until they heard a gunshot, entered the home and found Mr. Downs dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Police said Mr. Downs owned Cameron Perks, a coffeehouse in the Cameron Station neighborhood.

Authorities are not releasing the name of the woman, who suffered multiple gunshot wounds and is being treated at a nearby hospital.


Burning law starts Feb. 15

Virginia’s burning law goes into effect Feb. 15. The law prohibits burning before 4 p.m. if a fire is in or within 300 feet of woodland, brushland or fields containing dry grass or other flammable materials, according to the state’s Department of Forestry.

Violation of the law is misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $500. And those who allow a fire to escape are liable for the cost of suppressing the fire and the damage caused to others’ property.

Officials say adhering to the law helps prevent wildfires. There were more than 1,320 wildfires in Virginia last year that burned more than 25,700 acres of forest land.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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