<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.com en-us Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:32:34 -0400 Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:32:34 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Severe Thunderstorm Warnings in Va., Md.]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:12:02 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/211*120/wx+alert+for+spotlight1.jpg

Heat and humidity led to a chance for strong storms Wednesday evening.

A severe thunderstorm warning is in effect until 6:45 p.m. for northern Frederick County, northeastern Washington and northwestern Carroll counties.

A severe thunderstorm warning is in effect until 6:15 p.m. for southwestern Frederick County and northern Loudoun County.

Storms will likely hit the D.C. metro area between 7 and 9 p.m. Some storms could be strong to severe with frequent lightning, and there is a risk of damaging winds.

The severe weather will be isolated; however, drivers leaving the city during the tail end of the evening commute should be careful.

Wednesday also marked the return of high heat and humidity, with temperatures in the mid-90s and a heat index near 100 degrees.

Thursday and Friday will bring relief from the heat and humidity.

Cooler, drier weather will enter the area this evening and stick around for the next few days. Most of the weekend looks dry, with isolated showers possible late Sunday afternoon.

Get the latest weather from NBCWashington.com:

Download our NEW free weather apps for iPad and iPhone. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for our e-mail newsletters.

<![CDATA[Police Seeking Former Redskin Fred Davis]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:12:10 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/152651518+%281%29.jpg

The Metropolitan Police Department is seeking the public's assistance in locating former Redskins tight end Fred Davis, who is wanted for a domestic violence simple assault that allegedly occurred last month in Adams Morgan.

According to a police report, the incident in question took place about 3 a.m. June 2 at The Diner, a 24-hour restaurant in the 2400 block of 18th Street NW.

Davis confronted his ex-girlfriend shortly after she arrived at the restaurant with a male acquaintance, according to the incident report. He approached from behind, put his hands on her shoulders and spun her around to face him, then asked the other man why he was with her.

The woman excused herself to have a cigarette, and Davis followed her outside and “grabbed a handful of dirt and flowers from the hanging plant box and threw them at her," according to the report. She then went inside to get a ketchup bottle to squirt on Davis, but someone stopped her.

The argument carried on outside for sometime during which Davis allegedly said to the woman, "I'm gonna slap you 'cause you fakin'. Your friend looks like 2 Chainz."

The victim, 28, told police that she was unharmed and did not call police until the following afternoon because she wanted to make sure she had her facts straight. 

Davis, who lives in Leesburg, was suspended indefinitely by the NFL in February for violating the league's substance abuse policy. The following day, he was arrested for driving under the influence in Fairfax County.

The 28-year-old appeared in 72 games for Washington between 2008-13, catching 162 passes for 2,043 yards and 13 touchdowns. 

Police implore anyone with information regarding this case to call (202)-727-9099.

Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Found Guilty of Manslaughter In Fatal Hit-And-Run ]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:20:36 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/236*120/0723hitandrun.png

A Maryland woman who struck and killed a 24-year-old woman with her car and then continued driving home was found guilty of manslaughter Wednesday. 

Jorida Davidson, 31, of Chevy Chase, was driving on Connecticut Avenue when she struck Kiela Marie Ryan near Dupont Circle and then kept driving in 2010. Davidson made no attempt to brake or sound her horn, police said.

Ryan was getting out her car when she was struck. She had been celebrating her birthday.

A bicyclist took down the license plate number and called police, who found Davidson asleep behind the wheel at her condo on North Park Avenue. She refused to take a breath test, and the prosecution contended that she was drunk.

Davidson was convicted of lesser charges related to the hit-and-run in 2011, including negligent homicide, leaving the scene of an accident and driving under the influence. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the voluntary manslaughter charge at that time, which led led to a retrial this month.

During the 2011 trial, the defense said that Davidson, an Albanian immigrant in the country on a green card, suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome caused by her childhood in Albania and the death of her parents when she was young. She fell asleep behind the wheel because sometimes she considered sleep a “safe place,” the defense said.

Davidson was sentenced to a total of three years and nine months in prison in 2011 and she is now serving that time.

She will be sentenced for the manslaughter charge in September.

<![CDATA[Police ID Suspected Driver Who Fled Fatal Crash Scene]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:09:18 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/bryantchristopherlewis.jpg

The suspected driver who fled a fatal collision in Brandywine last week has been identified by police, who obtained a warrant for his arrest.

Police said Bryant Christopher Lewis, 23, of Shirl Court in Clinton, was driving a stolen Ford Mustang that crashed into a utility pole July 17, killing one passenger and injuring the other.

Brendan Munnerlyn, 23, of Myrtle Oak Court in Waldorf, was pronounced dead at the scene and a second passenger was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Police said Lewis fled the scene on foot.

Anyone with information on Lewis is asked to contact Prince George's County Police at 301-731-4422 or to contact Crime Solvers anonymously at 1-866-411-TIPS.

Photo Credit: Prince George's County Police]]>
<![CDATA[Russini in Richmond: Getting Ready for Day One]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:25:19 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20140723+Gruden.jpg

News4's Dianna Russini is in Richmond throughout Redskins Training Camp, and sending regular reports. Here's today's news from camp:

Hello from Richmond! It's about 93 degrees but feels like 103. All the team stores, food trucks, and tents are set up, ready to go for tomorrow.

Today, the players reported to training camp at the Bon Secours training facility. The team worked out for about 20 minutes; only one player failed their conditioning test (that would be Mo Hurt).

Tomorrow Jason Hatcher, Leonard Hankerson, Stephen Bowen, and Mo Hurt will start on the PUP list.

Robert Griffin III did walk out on the field early Wednesday to watch some of his teammates stretching and going through conditioning work. Like always, he was all smiles as he gets ready for his third season at quarterback with the Redskins. Remember RG3 didn't have a preseason last year since he was still rehabbing his knee.

First-year head coach Jay Gruden spoke to reporters for about 20 minutes. My 3 take aways:

  1. He wants RG3 to get as many reps as possible
  2. Picking and choosing the best players for this 53 man roster will be difficult but that's what they want. That means it's competitive out on the field.
  3. For any head coach, a first training camp can be challenging. Gruden has spoken to lots of current and past coaches and even took advice from many assistants to what works and what doesn't in camp.

The players told me they are happy with his first decision on this team: early morning practices. Practice gets going Thursday at 8:45 a.m. in front of the thousands of fans that will show up.

RG3 will speak to the media tomorrow. Tweet me or write to me if you have a specific question you would like to see him address. I'll try to get in what I can.

A few tips for those who are going:

  • If you like those Redskins bucket hats, the team store here in Richmond has them. $30 each. They sold out in two days last year.
  • Don't stand near the ropes. The reporters have to stand on the sidelines to take notes. We get in the way! Find higher ground.
  • RGIII is known to stay out on the field for up to an hour after practice signing ... so don't give up!
<![CDATA[LA Ex-Councilman Convicted of Fraud]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:50:12 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/215*120/alarcon+richard+councilman+la+court.jpg

Former Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon was convicted Wednesday on some of the voter fraud and perjury counts against him in a trial stemming from accusations that he lied about where he lived so he could qualify for public office.

Alarcon was convicted on four of 16 felony counts against him for living outside a district he was elected to represent. The jury cleared him on the other counts. His wife, Flora Montes de Oca Alarcon, was convicted of three counts, and acquitted on three others.

Alarcon, 60, faced seven counts of fraudulent voting, six counts of perjury by declaration and three counts of perjury in an application for a drivers license. His wife was charged with six felony counts: three counts each of perjury by declaration and fraudulent voting in elections in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 10. Richard Alarcon faces up to six years in state prison and would be barred from holding elected public office. Flora Montes de Oca Alarcon faces up to five years and four months in state prison and would be barred from running for public office.

The panel was asked to decide whether the couple lied about where they lived between 2006 and 2009 so that Richard Alarcon could qualify for public office in Los Angeles' 7th Council District.

Outside of court Wednesday, Alarcon said he had no comment, but added, "I know I'm innocent."

Deliberations in the month-long trial began last week after prosecutors argued that the Panorama City house that Alarcon and his wife claimed as their "domicile" appeared to neighbors, utility employees and mail carriers to be vacant. Prosecutors contended the Alarcons really lived outside the 7th Council District in Sun Valley.

Under state election law, a residence for voting purposes is defined as a permanent home where one intends to remain and return after an absence. The law does not detail how much time must be spent at the address for it to qualify as a "domicile."

The defense claimed that the prosecution had not even come close to proving the charges against the two. Defense attorneys argued that the Panorama City house underwent renovations and remained the couple's permanent residence because they planned to return there after construction.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Babies Get Herpes After Ritual: DOH]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:47:39 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NC_Circumcision0906_722x406_2119014932.jpg

Two more infants were diagnosed with herpes in New York this month after undergoing ritual Jewish circumcisions, the Health Department says.

In both cases, the infant boys were born to mothers with full-term pregnancies and normal deliveries. They were circumcised using the direct oral suction technique practiced by some Orthodox Jews eight days after their birth, and developed lesions on their genitals shortly thereafter, the Health Department said.

Their conditions Wednesday weren't immediately clear.

NYC to Require Consent for Oral Suction Ritual

There have been 16 confirmed cases of herpes since 2000 in newborn boys after circumcisions that likely involved direct oral suction, including three in 2014, according to the Health Department. 

Two of the infants died and at least two others suffered brain damage.

During the ancient ritual, the person performing the circumcision attempts to cleanse the wound by sucking blood from the cut and spitting it aside. Authorities say the saliva contact could give the infant herpes, which is harmless in adults but could kill newborns.

In 2012, the Board of Health voted unanimously to require anyone performing circumcisions that involve oral suction to obtain written consent from a parent or guardian. The consent form delineates the potential health risks outlined by the Health Department. 

A group of Orthodox rabbis sued in an attempt to block the regulation, but a judge sided with the city.

The parents have to sign a form acknowledging that the city Health Department advises against the practice because of risks of herpes and other infections.

<![CDATA[PD: Father Accused of Abducting Toddler Apprehended]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:22:36 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/darrel-keith-parker.jpg

A man accused of abducting his 15-month-old daughter from her mother at a Metro station has been apprehended, Metro Transit Police say.

Authorities said 29-year-old Darrel Keith Parker took the little girl around 7:45 p.m. at the Southern Avenue Metro station, located just over the D.C. line in Temple Hills, Maryland.

A security officer at the MaxWay store at 7726 Landover Road in Hyattsville recognized the toddler from television reports and called 911.  

When officers arrived, Parker fled the scene. He was arrested a short time later. The toddler is safe.

Police say the child will be reunited with her mother.

If you have any information, you're asked to call police at 202-962-2121.

<![CDATA[D.C. Police Used Sting Ops to Lure Criminals: Post]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:23:04 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000007274903_1200x675_311837251691.jpg Washington Post reporter Ann Marimow explains how D.C. police were able to set up sting operation robberies to lure criminals and eventually arrest them.]]> <![CDATA[Redskins Training Camp: Everything You Need to Know]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:24:10 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20140218+DeAngelo+Hall.jpg

For most people, summer is the time to take a vacation -- but for D.C.'s football players, it's time to get serious. The Washington Redskins begin their training for the 2014 season Thursday... and you’re invited.

The event is a great chance for Redskins fans to connect with the team, gear up for the coming football season and to take a break from the city. Check out our tips below to maximize your time at the event or to turn it into a weekend break.

What Is Training Camp?

Training Camp marks the beginning of the pre-season for the Redskins. The team is put through its paces, but still takes the time to meet with fans after their training sessions.

The public is invited to attend and can watch training exercises, including joint training with New England Patriots players on select days. There are also events, promotions and merchandise tents -- and best of all, admission is free.

Find the most up-to-date info on the Redskins site here.

How Do I Get to Training Camp?

The event is held at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center at 2401 West Leigh St in Richmond, Virginia.

Richmond is about two hours away by car. There are several parking lots for fans attending the camp, which cost $7 daily (cash only). The locations are all close to the Bon Secours Center, but a trolley shuttle will run between them for $2. The shuttle will run an hour before the first practice event and until an hour after the last. More information is available here.

No car? You can also take a bus for around $20 from Union Station or an Amtrak train, also from Union Station.

When Is Training Camp?

The event begins Thursday and runs through Aug. 11. Daily training is generally scheduled to begin at 8:35 a.m. and ends with a walkthrough at 4:10 p.m. Several days have special events or altered training times.

Fans are encouraged to arrive early to secure a good viewing spot (more on that below). Gates open at 8 a.m. and close at 6 p.m.

There is no training camp July 29, Aug. 3 and Aug 8. See more information on the schedule here.

How Can I Attend?

Attendance is free, but you will need to sign up for a Training Camp Pass on the Redskins site. Only one is necessary per family group. Signing up for a pass will also enter you into a draw to win Redskins game tickets and merchandise.

Joint training sessions with the Patriots and Fan Appreciation Day are especially busy events. Passes for those events are provided via a lottery system on the above signup form.

However, attendance may be capped or changed on some other days, so check the Redskins site before you attend.

What Else Should I Know?

  • Amenities

Expect a merchandise tent, games and fan competitions, as well as several on-site food outlets. The center also includes a park with walking trails.

The Women of Washington Redskins will host events geared toward female 'Skins fans, and obstacle fitness courses will help younger fans let off some steam in. The Redskins Kids' Club will also keep younger fans entertained.

Redskins players, cheerleaders and coaches will sometimes be available to sign autographs and meet fans after training events.

  • Seating

There are no bleachers available, so guests have the option to either bring lawn chairs and blankets, or to sit in the outdoor amphitheater that overlooks the practice fields.

Standing areas offer fans the chance to stretch their legs and view the events from different vantage points.

  • Pets

Animals are not allowed at Training Camp (except service animals), so they can't join you during the day.

But that doesn't mean your four-legged friend has to miss out on all the fun. Old Towne Pet Resort (in both Springfield and Dulles) is offering a Dog Agility Training Camp on July 26 to celebrate the Redskins Training Camp.

  • Special Days

On Aug. 4, 5 and 6, the Redskins will be joined by the New England Patriots for joint training sessions. Fan Appreciation Day is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 2 at 10:30 a.m.

  • What to Bring

Bring a cooler with food and non-alcoholic drinks if you want to picnic during camp. Alcohol, glass bottles and video cameras are not allowed at the event though.

How Can I Make Training Camp Into a Mini-Vacation?

Richmond is a city steeped in history and famed for its museums, art and monuments. If you're excited about the Redskins Training Camp but need a break, the city could provide a great day trip or weekend getaway.

  • Where to Stay

If you're planning on staying the night, you have plenty of options throughout the city, including quaint bed and breakfasts as well as budget-friendly chains.

There are three possibilities within a few blocks of the training center. The cheapest is the Comfort Inn Conference Center Midtown about four blocks away, but there are also two bed and breakfasts nearby for a little more luxury. Maury Place at Monument and Grace Manor Inn both have five-star ratings on TripAdvisor.com.

Elsewhere, there are dozens of hotels in downtown Richmond, the Fan District and Shockoe Slip, all of which are within easy reach of the training center. Downtown offers dining and shopping, while the two latter neighborhoods are historical areas with great sightseeing opportunities.

  • How to Get Around

Driving is the easiest way to get to Richmond and to get around the city, but there are public transportation options available if you want to leave the car at home.

The Greater Richmond Transit System runs an extensive bus service that should get you to all of the city's attractions.

The closest bus stop to the training camp is to the west on North Boulevard Street at the intersection of West Moore Street, which is served by the 24 bus route. However, to the south, West Broad Street is served by several routes, including the 1, 2, 3, 6, 19 and 24 routes, Check out the schedules and routes here.

  • Where to Eat

The Magpie and Lunch two of the highest-rated Richmond restaurants on Yelp.com, and both are only a short walk away from the training center.

But to get into the spirit of football and tailgating, there are also several barbecue joints nearby. The most popular of those with Yelp users are Gus'' Bar and Grill and Buz and Ned's Real Barbecue.

  • Where to Drink

If you're hoping to wash down a day of football with a beer at a sports bar, you'll have to go a little further afield. The Home Team Grill is a local chain that offers a location in the nearby Fan District, and is the closest sports bar to the training center.

If the Redskins excitement gets to be a little too much and you find yourself in need of a pick-me-up, try Sugar Shack Donuts just a short walk away on North Lombardy Street that offers coffee and donuts.

And if you do decide to stay the night in Richmond, why not make it a memorable experience? Infuzion is the club closest to the Redskins event, but there are also two bars nearby: Strange Matter, an arcade/music venue hybrid, and Empire, a lounge and indie bar. Both are a few blocks away, just off West Broad Street.

There are also several clubs in downtown Richmond. Some of the most popular are The National, a concert venue and club; Barcode, a gay bar and club; and Kai, a dance club.

  • What Else to Do

The Bon Secours Training Center is located just behind the Science Museum of Virginia and the Children's Museum of Richmond, making it an ideal location to entertain the family away from the field.

The Hardywood Craft Brewery is also just a block away, and yes -- they offer tours.

Depending on the length of your stay, there are plenty of other things to see and do a little further out.

For some more sports-related fun, the home of the Richmond Flying Squirrels minor league baseball team is a short walk away on North Boulevard Street. If you'd like to catch a game, see their schedule here.

The Richmond Kickers soccer team also plays just a little further away at UKROP Park on West Broad Street. Their schedule is available here.

Richmond is a city with a long and fascinating past, and it is home to some of Virginia's most treasured historical landmarks. If you plan to take in some of that history, consider visiting Maymont Park, The American Civil War Center, Richmond National Battlefield Park and The Virginia War Memorial. There are many other sites worth visiting too.

For a break from football, try the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts or tour the famous Hollywood Cemetery, which is the resting place of presidents James Monroe and John Tyler, as well as many other historical figures.

For something that takes a full day, though, you might want to consider Kings Dominion, which is only about 30 minutes north of Richmond by car. There is also an express bus service that runs there several times daily from downtown Richmond.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Posing as Caretaker Stole from Vulnerable Adults: PD]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:46:08 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/0723-kamara-zanaib.jpg

A Bladensburg, Md. woman who ran an illegitimate care-taking facility is accused of stealing money from her vulnerable patients, in addition to neglecting and abusing them.

Zanaib Kamara allegedly picked up her victims when they were released from rehabilitation centers, tricking them into thinking she ran an assisted living facility at a condo on Newton Street.

Prosecutors said Kamara would force the victims to live in the "facility" without heat in the winter and without proper care.

"Roaches all over the place, as many as five to eight people in at the time with only one bed so other people have mattresses on the floor," John Erzen with Prince George's County State's Attorney's Office said. 

As a caretaker, she should have provided warm beds, food, medicine and transportation to doctor's appointments.

"She would never have wanted anyone to treat her loved ones, her vulnerable relatives in that matter. It's terrible and it needs to stop," a neighbor said.

Some of her victims claim they were held at the apartment against their will, according to Erzen.

"The investigators had never seen this level of targeting and praying on people who really had no ability to care for themselves," Lt. William Alexander with Prince George's County Police said.

Sources told News4 Kamara would allegedly pocket the victims' government checks, like social security, and would even be so bold to take them to ATMs where she forced them to withdraw cash.

Kamara has been charged with multiple crimes in a 57-count indictment. 

So far, police said there have been 5 victims but they believe there could be more. 

<![CDATA[D.C. Murder Suspect Arrested in Charlotte ]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:35:45 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/181*120/michael-gayle.jpg

A man wanted in the slaying of a D.C. woman last month has been found in Charlotte.

Michael Gayle was wanted for the death of 31-year-old Eboni Domally. Domally was found stabbed to death inside her Southeast home June 29, police said.

Gayle was arrested Tuesday morning by U.S. marshals and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police. He was booked into Mecklenburg County Jail.

<![CDATA[Last Testimony in Sterling Trial]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:18:35 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Donald-Shelley-Sterling.jpg

Wednesday should see the last round of testimony in the trial over whether Shelly Sterling was within her rights when she negotiated a $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers — a sale her husband Donald Sterling, whose recorded racist remarks prompted calls for his ouster as owner, vehemently opposes.

While Shelly Sterling has already testified, she may be called back to the stand by her embattled husband's legal team.

"The plan is to call Shelly," Donald Sterling's lawyer Bobby Samini said. "There's been some discussions whether we need to re-call her, but we have not decided for sure yet."

Shelly Sterling's attorneys have rested their case, finishing with testimony that the Clippers face oblivion if the team's censured owner keeps control of the franchise. The current firestorm and battle over the team's fate began after Donald Sterling's racist remarks were recorded by a companion and later published online.

"We're very confident the judge will find that this is an awesome sale, and that the sale ought to go forward without any further delay," Shelly's attorney Pierce O'Donnell said Wednesday

Clippers Interim CEO Richard Parsons testified on Tuesday that coach Doc Rivers said he will leave if Donald Sterling stays, as well as players and sponsors.

Parsons said he fears there would also be an exodus of key players, including team captain Chris Paul, who also is black and heads the NBA players union.

Parsons was about to give an account of his conversations with Paul but was stopped by an objection by an NBA lawyer who said it would be an invasion of privacy. The judge upheld the objection.

After Shelly Sterling arranged for doctors to examine her husband, they deemed him mentally incapacitated, and she took control of the Sterling Family Trust that owns the Clippers and negotiated a sale to ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

But Donald Sterling went to see another doctor of his choosing, Jeffrey Cummings, who found he suffers from mild cognitive impairment.

Donald Sterling's lawyers hope to call Cummings to the stand, while Shelly's lawyers are expected to object by citing the judge's earlier ruling that the court can only determine if trust procedures were followed -- not whether either doctor was right.

Meanwhile, Donald Sterling fired off another legal volley on Tuesday, filing a new lawsuit against his wife, the NBA and league Commissioner Adam Silver that alleges fraud, breach of contract, unfair business practices and infliction of emotional distress. He claimed, among other things, that he was tricked into being examined by psychiatrists to establish whether he was mentally competent.

He announced from the witness stand earlier in the trial that he would never sell the team and would be suing the NBA for the rest of his life.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: AP Images]]>
<![CDATA[Brothers Fight Off Armed Intruder]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:20:13 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Halloween+mask+New+London+1200+home+invasion.jpg

Two brothers fought off and helped detain a 15-year-old armed intruder who tried to rob them early Wednesday morning in New London, police said.

A teen, wearing a hockey mask and carrying a knife and a loaded gun, invaded a home on Crystal Avenue just before 3 a.m. on Wednesday, according to police.

Richard and Kevin Dennis were asleep when the teen broke in, but woke up and acted quickly.

Richard went toward the teen.

"That’s when he hit me in the head with the gun. Then I picked him up and he started wailing on my back with the butt of the gun," Richard said.

Kevin got a gun to help his brother, and told the teen to drop his weapon and stay still.

"I heard my brother say, 'Kevin, I need help. He has a gun.' When I heard that, (I) grabbed my gun and went flying through the door," Kevin Dennis said.

The teen did drop his weapon.

"He dropped it the moment he saw me. I got mine. The fight was over. It was night and day," Kevin Dennis said.

When police arrived, they arrested the intruder.

The teen was charged with home invasion, burglary, second-degree assault with a firearm, first-degree threatening and carrying a pistol without a permit. His name has not been released because of his age.

The resident who was assaulted had minor injuries, but declined medical treatment, police said. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Flying Tire Kills Driver on Highway]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:12:19 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/bishop-ford-072314-1.jpg

A woman traveling northbound on the Bishop Ford Freeway was killed Wednesday morning when she was struck by a tire that came off a vehicle headed in the opposite direction, a spokesperson with the Illinois State Police told NBC Chicago.

First responders had to free Jovanka Mijatov, 64, who was pinned in her white 2011 Nissan Versa by "debris" after the 6:10 a.m. crash, Illinois State Police Trooper David Roman said.

Mijatov, of Schererville, Indiana, was taken by ambulance to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where she was pronounced dead.

Nearby, a green 1997 Chevrolet Blazer driven by 48-year-old Mariana Blanco, of Hammond, Indiana, was pulled over to the side of the southbound lane without a left rear tire.

Blanco faces three citations: driving without valid insurance, driving without valid registration and driving with unsafe tires.

Traffic on the freeway was backed up for nearly 10 miles, to Interstate 80. Commuters got by the accident scene using just one lane until about 9 a.m.

<![CDATA[Six Suspects Arrested in Suitland Murder]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:38:21 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/suitland+mugshots.jpg

Six suspects have been arrested in the early Tuesday morning murder of a man in Suitland, Maryland that left evidence scattered across multiple crime scenes.

Prince George's County Police have arrested a 17-year-old girl and five men ranging in age from 18 to 23. Authorities say an argument between the suspects and the victim, 54-year-old Amos Milburn Jones, led to the killing.

Jones' body was found around 1:45 a.m. Tuesday behind a shopping center in the 4600 block of Huron Avenue.

Authorities say the suspects have all admitted to varying degrees of involvement.

All six suspects have all been charged with first-degree murder:

  • Jose Eduardo Menjibar-Alaman, 18, of Suitland
  • Oscar Alberto Parada, 20, of Suitland
  • Jose Irving Guzman Dominquez, 23, of Suitland
  • Jose Martinez Serrano, 18, Suitland
  • Almicah Hernandez Sergovir, 18, of Temple Hills
  • Katherine Abigial Lopez, 17, of Las Vegas, Nevada

Lopez, a juvenile, is being charged as an adult in the crime.

"This is a senseless crime that needlessly ended a man's life," said Prince George's County Police Chief Mark Magaw. "Such blatant disregard for any member of our community is deplorable. I'm grateful to our officers and detectives for quickly closing this case."

Investigators collected evidence in several areas Tuesday morning, including the alleyway where the victim's body was found, and the playground of the nearby Regency Court Apartments on Swann Road.

A man who called police after finding Jones' body told News4 that he had seen the victim get into an argument with several people.

"I saw the two guys, the first two guys fighting. Then they left. Then I saw [a] girl and four other guys," the witness said. "And that's when I left. Then... when I came back, I saw somebdy laying in the alley, and it was him."

<![CDATA[Airbnb Host Says Guests Hosted Wild Party, Trashed House]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:18:32 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/0722-bensen-airbnb.jpg

A Maryland man says his first guests on the temporary rental website Airbnb left behind an expensive mess at his Hyattsville home.

Airbnb allows hosts to rent out extra rooms or entire apartments or homes to visitors for a fee usually cheaper than a hotel stay. 

Mike Novak did just that last Friday, when he let two women in their 20s from New York rent out his Hyattsville house for the weekend. He then headed to Virginia Beach, oblivious to the damage he would be returning the following week.

"Saturday night, she had a humongous house party here," Novak said. "I think she posted on Facebook and it blew up. … A major flight broke out in the backyard between multiple people, they broke through the neighbor's fence, went on in their back yard, they broke the other side of his fence."

The party-goers left behind dozens of liquor and beer bottles, cigar wrappers -- and even underwear.

"People slept in all the rooms," Novak said. "I found lingerie in the rooms. I've been cleaning my house, Febrezing everything."

Neighbors told Novak someone was using a wheelchair ramp to ride a motorcycle up and down right before police arrived. 

Novak contacted Airbnb about the damage under what the company calls their "host guarantee," which they say covers damage up to $1,000,000. 

"It was a little difficult getting in touch with them but I finally got a call from a woman today and I have a direct line to her now,' Novak said. 

An Airbnb spokesperson told News4: "Problems like this are incredibly rare, but when they happen, we try to help make things right. We are working quickly to reimburse the host under our 'Host Guarantee' program, and we have permanently removed the individual who rented this space from our site."

Novak said he has filed a police report. The experience, he says, hasn't deterred him from hosting Airbnb guests again.

<![CDATA[Woman Filmed While Undressing During Job Interview: PD]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:24:51 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Mark+Allan+Haynes.jpg

A 46-year-old Spotsylvania County man is accused of filming a woman as she undressed during an interview at a local business.

Police say the 21-year-old victim was asked by the interviewer at Kloke Enterprises, a moving company on Lansdowne Road in Fredericksburg, to undress and try on uniforms in an empty office on June 1.

A little over a month later, the victim was called back and asked to once again remove her clothing. This time she noticed a hidden camera in the room with her.

Following an investigation and the execution of a search warrant at a Spotsylvania home, Mark Allan Haynes was arrested and charged with unlawfully videotaping or photographing a person in a state of undress and without their consent.

He is being held at the Rappahannock Regional Jail on a $2,500 bond.

If you have additional information or believe you may have been a victim, call police at 540-654-5919.


<![CDATA[Arrest After 2nd Gun Found at House Office Building]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:55:54 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2014-07-18_1248_0011.jpg

Just days after a congressional staffer was arrested for allegedly bringing a gun into the Cannon House Office Building, a second man has been arrested for the same offense, police said.

U.S. Capitol Police told News4 that officers discovered a 9mm Ruger handgun during an administrative search at the entrance to Cannon's rotunda. It happened around 9:20 a.m. Wednesday.

Ronald William Prestage has been charged with carrying a pistol without a license, said police spokesperson Shennell Antrobus. 

Prestage is not a congressional staffer. RollCall.com reported that he is a veterinarian and farm operator who is also president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council. He may have been on Capitol Hill to lobby on agriculture issues, the site reportedm.

He has a concealed carry permit in South Carolina, according to records, reported RollCall.com.

Prestage's arrest came five days after Ryan Shucard, the press secretary for Rep. Tom Marino of Pennsylvania, was taken into custody and charged with carrying a pistol without a license, a felony.

"It was a total accident," Shucard told News4's Darcy Spencer Friday afternoon.

Earlier this week, he pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Bill Tighe, the congressman's chief of staff, said Shucard has been placed on unpaid leave.

Photo Credit: Inset: Hannah Hess/CQ Roll Call; background: News4]]>
<![CDATA[Geico Insurance Banner Falls on Bay Area House ]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:46:08 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/072314-banner-house.jpg

One Bay Area couple can now say for certain their house is covered by insurance.

A 4,000-square-foot Geico insurance banner being towed by a plane came loose and fell directly on their house Friday in Fremont.

"I heard a thump," says Sarah Clark, who was inside when banner landed on her home. "When I looked out the front gate I thought it was pouring rain because it kind of made it look that way. And it sounded like a windstorm, or maybe rain, but I knew it wasn't raining."

When Clark looked out her back door that's when she saw the massive sign.

"I saw a gigantic piece of fabric over the gazebo and I was thinking it's a parachute or hot air balloon," Clark says. 

Ameer Hassan was driving on Interstate 880 just a few miles away when he saw the sign fall.

"I saw the banner flying sideways and I've never seen anything like that before," Hassan says. "I didn't know if it was heavy enough to destroy anything."

The pilot of the plane says he was trying out a new rope that failed to hold the sign. The FAA is investigating the incident.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[What to Watch at Redskins Camp]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:32:22 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/205*120/186338485.jpg.jpg

Last season, the Redskins followed their NFC East championship in 2012 with a 3-13 record, their worst in nearly 20 years. The final weeks were marred by the deterioration of quarterback Robert Griffin III and coach Mike Shanahan's relationship, ultimately culminating with the latter's dismissal in December.

Yet training camp, which begins Thursday morning in Richmond, provides an opportunity for the team and fans alike to hit the proverbial "refresh button."

A new coach in Jay Gruden, a new offensive weapon in wide receiver DeSean Jackson and a healthy Griffin all provide fans with a modicum of hope. A 0-0 record never looked so good. 

Washington's season opener is less than two months away (Sept. 7 against Houston, to be exact), so consider this a primer of what to pay attention to at camp and in the upcoming weeks. 

All In For Weeks 1-16?


The motto of last summer's training camp was "All In For Week 1," a clever marketing campaign trumpeting the eventual return of Griffin from knee surgery.

Griffin was true to his word, starting Week 1 against the Eagles after eight months of relentless rehabilitation following a gruesome knee injury.

Yet he was never really there last seasonHindered by a clunky knee brace, Griffin was not the dynamic player that captivated the NFL in his rookie season. By season's end, he was on the bench watching, shut down by Shanahan as backup Kirk Cousins mercifully ended what was left of 2013.

Once seemingly impervious to criticism, everything about Griffin -- from his mechanics to his personality and leadership capabilities -- were nitpicked.

There have been no flashy catchphrases this summer (remember "Operation Patience"?). Griffin has kept himself out of the spotlight as much as someone of his stature possibly can. He will have the knowledge of Gruden (a former quarterback in his own right) at his disposal, as well as a stout receiving corps bolstered by the arrival of Jackson, a former division rival in Philadelphia.

Jackson offers a big-play threat (he has caught 21 touchdowns of 30-plus yards since 2008, tied for the most in the league), while Pierre Garcon returns as a trusty target. Add in tight end Jordan Reed (if healthy) and Griffin has numerous options. 

It is up to RGIII, however, to prove that he can be an effective passer (his completion percentage dropped from 65.6 percent in 2012 to 60.1 percent last season and he threw seven more interceptions) and playmaker (he rushed for 326 fewer yards last season, though that was more knee-related). 

If the Griffin that instilled hope in a downtrodden fan base two years ago can make an appearance this season, an overall improvement will be a given. 



As the remnants of Shanahan's regime were removed from Ashburn, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett survived. 

That may have come as a surprise to some, considering Haslett's defenses have not been particularly stalwart during his tenure.

From ESPN Stats & Information:

During his tenure from 2010-13, the Redskins are cumulatively 29th in yards per play (5.75), 31st in yards per pass attempt (7.22), 21st in yards after contact (5,016) and 27th in points per game (25.2).

Those who regularly report on the team believe that the Redskins have too many holes on the defensive side of the ball. There are five likely starters, according to ESPN's John Keim, who are 30 or older. The Redskins' potential starting inside linebacker, Keenan Robinson, has 11 career tackles in two injury-plagued seasons. The secondary does not particularly inspire confidence either 

This should be obvious, but the Redskins have to tackle better as well. According to ESPN, "the Redskins allowed 756 yards after contact in the run game (23rd worst in the NFL) and 544 after contact by receivers (22nd worst) [last season]. They were 26th in the NFL for their combined yards after contact allowed." 

Meanwhile, the pass rush should improve in theory with the additions of defensive tackle Jason Hatcher and drafted linebacker Trent Murphy to aid Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan. To be frank though, a lot has to improve in order for Washington to be taken seriously. 

Gruden's Way


Those in the know have seen nothing but positive vibes emanating from Gruden thus far. It is a vast departure from the aforementioned contentiousness between Griffin and Shanahan that enveloped the Redskins at the end of last season.

"Owner Daniel Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen believe that Gruden’s style, approach, youth and experiences as a former quarterback will help restore order in that coach-quarterback relationship," wrote Mike Jones of The Washington Post. "So far, Griffin has praised Gruden for his communication skills, leadership style and vision for himself and the offense. Gruden, meanwhile, has praised Griffin’s approach to the game and willingness to learn."

What to watch for is how Gruden, formerly the offensive coordinator of the Bengals, handles the added responsibilities of coaching an entire football team as opposed to simply running the offense. 

"What if there’s an issue with Griffin? What if the defense doesn’t produce and he thinks the Skins need to tweak their scheme? Will Gruden be able to make those hard decisions when necessary? In-game and in-season adjustments matter greatly, and Gruden has to prove himself in this area," Keim wrote. "He was not a unanimous hotshot choice to be a head coach, but the Redskins believed in him and thought he could handle the job."

Above all else, leading a consistent winner will be Gruden's primary objective. All concerns will be washed away if the Redskins are a competitive football team. 

Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sherwood's Notebook: Fussin’ and Fightin’!]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:06:21 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/177*120/1228943357mLL1.jpg

A group of city leaders joined D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton on Capitol Hill last week.

They were there to denounce Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie for successfully getting the House to pass a bill that effectively would kill the city’s gun control laws.

To everyone’s surprise, as reported by NBC4’s Mark Segraves, Massie showed up at the news conference to listen.

But only one speaker singled him out.

“And seeing the face of Mr. Massie as he participated in this press conference has been quite sickening to me,” said Kimberly Perry, a look of disgust on her face. Perry is executive director of DC Vote, the lobby group seeking voting rights in Congress for the city’s 650,000 residents.

Massie told reporters afterward that violent crime had gone down in the District since six years ago when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the city’s absolute ban on private handguns.

Several participants on the Hill, including Massie, said they were confident the Senate would kill the House measure. But Norton wasn’t so sure in this midterm election year. “I’m not confident of anything. I’m not confident that the Senate is going to do the right thing.”

■ You want fries with that? President Obama, who’s best known locally among some for dining in the city’s various restaurants or grabbing a quick lunch at our more popular carryouts, commented on the District’s lack of statehood this week.

“I’m in D.C., so I’m for it,” Obama replied to a question during an event Monday. “I’ve long believed that folks in D.C. pay taxes like everybody else. They contribute to the overall well-being of the country like everybody else. They should be represented like everybody else,” The Hill newspaper quoted the president as saying.

Obama noted that national politics makes any real effort for D.C. statehood “difficult.”
Nonetheless, the president’s comments won praise from DC Vote’s Perry, who was much happier to talk about Obama than Massie.

“President Obama’s support ... shows that he understands the injustice we face every day,” she said in a statement. “The President has repeatedly proposed greater autonomy for DC, only to see those proposals die because of partisan squabbling in Congress. We hope the administration will now request that its Senate allies hold a hearing on the DC statehood bill.”

■ More praise? Obama also was praised this week by Norton for signing the executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity. There is no federal law on this subject.

■ Hobby Lobby high-five? Well, kinda. The owners of Hobby Lobby craft stores won national attention when they won their Supreme Court battle to limit contraception insurance coverage for their employees because of the owners’ religious beliefs.

That recently prompted Wayne Bensen of the advocacy group Truth Wins Out to “strongly urge” District officials to make it as difficult as possible for Hobby Lobby to get all the permits it needs to build a private National Bible Museum in Southwest D.C. (the old site of the Washington Design Center).

Bensen wrote that the project near the National Mall “would make a mockery of surrounding museums, which are based on research, history and scholarship.”

Well, throwing up administrative hurdles didn’t go over so well with local activist Rick Rosendall, who is president of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance.

“There is no legitimate basis to block it,” Rosendall wrote this week in the Daily Kos. “GLAA has a long history of defending our opponents’ First Amendment rights. This allows us to hold the moral high ground. … We are much better off in the long run by respecting the rights of all, not just those who agree with us.”

Goodness, we better not let that kind of high-mindedness catch on. Maybe even the warring members of Congress might start working together. And then, what would the mean ol’ media report?

■ Bowser’s rough week. The Washington Post has run a series of stories on what some see as Ward 4 D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser’s tepid — or political — response to physical and financial mismanagement at the 700-tenant Park Southern apartment building in Southeast on Southern Avenue.

The Post stories leave the impression that Bowser, chair of the council’s housing committee and the Democratic mayoral nominee, was more interested in the rights of private managers (her political supporters) who were displaced than those of the low-income or no-income tenants.

Bower disputed the media reports and characterizations. She said she called for an Inspector General investigation once she learned more details. Still, that report likely would come long after the Nov. 4 general election.

Bowser asked to be on the Kojo Nnamdi “Politics Hour” Friday on WAMU 88.5 FM to discuss the incident and her campaign for mayor, but her explanations didn’t seem to dissuade host Nnamdi.

“It seems to me,” Nnamdi said near the end of the interview, “there are 700 people who are living in this property who need help and attention now!”

And Post columnist Colbert I. King also wrote about the controversy on Saturday, noting aggressive criticism of Bowser by rival mayoral candidate David Catania. King’s headline and final sentence on Saturday were stinging.

“Is Muriel Bowser going to bat for the taxpayers or her backers?”

Tom Sherwood, a Southwest resident, is a political reporter for News 4.

Photo Credit: Washington City Paper]]>
<![CDATA[Show Your Falls Church Pride With New License Plates]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 05:47:01 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/238*120/2014-07-23_0543.png

Residents of Falls Church, Virginia have a new way to show their city pride.

Starting Wednesday, drivers can pre-order a new license plate featuring "The Little City" logo for the City of Falls Church.

The specialty plates will cost you an additional $10 a year. Customizing the letters or numbers next to the logo will run you an additional $10.

Click here to learn how to pre-order the plate. The Virginia DMV must receive 350 commitments from the community before production of the plates can begin.

<![CDATA[Ben's Chili Bowl Opens Eatery at National Airport]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:38:37 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/bens+chili+bowl1.jpg

Reagan National Airport is celebrating the opening of Ben's Chili Bowl in one of its terminals as the famous Washington eatery opens its first airport location.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebration Wednesday at the airport will include performances by the Chuck Brown Band and giveaways to diners. After the celebration, Ben's Chili Bowl will begin serving travelers at the airport.

The airport says the opening of the new eatery is part of a larger redevelopment of the shops and dining options at National Airport and Dulles International Airport. In the past month, National Airport has opened new dining and shopping options including Legal Sea Foods, Brooks Brothers, Pinkberry and other shops.

<![CDATA[Mystery Surrounds Man's Death in Fauquier Co. Crash]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 20:19:14 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/policelights15.jpg

A 24-year-old man who died overnight following a high-speed chase and crash in Fauquier County may have been shot.

The Fauquier County Sheriff's Office pursued Corey M. Chamberlain on a chase Monday night that ended with Chamberlain driving off the road near Route 17 and Marsh Road, overturning several times and being thrown from the vehicle, police said.

Chamberlain was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he died.

Virginia State Police were called to investigate, and early Tuesday, the hospital told them Chamberlain was suffering from an apparent gunshot wound, prompting investigators to return to the site of the crash.

At 5:22 a.m., with several state police vehicles in the northbound lane of Route 17 with their emergency lights on, a man drove off the road and struck a state police vehicle, police said.

The driver, 55-year-old Joseph R. Jenkins of Midland, was not injured but has been charged with DUI and failure to move over for stopped emergency vehicles, police said.

The trooper in the state police vehicle that was struck was taken to Fauquier Hospital with minor injuries.

<![CDATA[D.C. Police Investigate Stabbing in Northeast]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 23:35:12 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000007262045_1200x675_311531587531.jpg Police say they're looking for a man who allegedly stabbed a juvenile and a woman at a home on Adams Street NE Tuesday night.]]> <![CDATA[Beretta Moving Manufacturing out of Maryland]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 18:10:34 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/181*120/0909-maryland-flag-generic.jpg

Gun maker Beretta U.S.A. will move all of its manufacturing out of Maryland to a new factory in Tennessee, the company announced Monday, after protesting Maryland's strict gun law passed last year.

The company met with employees Tuesday to tell them that 160 manufacturing and related jobs would move. Beretta's headquarters, including about 95 administrative and executive jobs, will stay in Accokeek, Maryland.

Previously, the company had said it would use the new Tennessee plant only for making new products. That plant will be an expansion for the company and may eventually employ 300 people, said Jeff Reh, Beretta's general counsel.

"We are fairly upset about even having to consider a move," Reh said. "Our preference would have been to stay and grow in Maryland for decades to come.

"But we have to be prudent about our future, and we have more chance to expand and grow in a state that is more positive to the second amendment," Reh said.

Beretta was active in lobbying against Maryland's Firearm Safety Act of 2013, considered one of the nation's most restrictive gun laws. It bans 45 types of assault weapons and prohibits buying ammunition magazines with more than 10 rounds. Gun buyers must be fingerprinted and licensed before buying a handgun.

Gun buyers and gun shops sued to stop the law from taking effect, but a federal court refused to block the law, and it went into effect in October.

Gun-control groups have said the law is partly responsible for statistics showing gun deaths in Maryland fell 24 percent in the first five months of 2014 compared with the same period in 2013.

Beretta said the legislative battle over the bill was a wake-up call for the company. One version of the law would have outlawed gun manufacturing in Beretta's home state; that version passed the state Senate and was supported by the governor, and was stopped in the state House, after Beretta lobbied hard against it.

"The obvious conclusion is that political developments can have an economic effect," Reh said. "It's really not fair for a legislature to just blithely pass restrictions without expecting some kind of reaction."

Jeff Cooper, the company's general manager, said in a statement: "The possibility that such restrictions might be reinstated in the future leaves us very worried about the wisdom of maintaining a firearm manufacturing factory in the state."

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley issued a statement, saying his administration was "disappointed with this decision" and pointing out other job growth in the state -- the administration says Maryland has created more than 24,100 total jobs since last June.

Prince George's County spokeman Scott Peterson echoed that disappointment, adding, "if there were any issues that the county could have addressed to keep Beretta here, you can be sure that we would have addressed them immediately."

<![CDATA[Metal Falls From Sky, Hits Home]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 22:10:28 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/ponder+house.jpg

A piece of metal fell from the sky and crashed into the roof of a Denton County mobile home over the weekend.

Rachael Thompson and Richard Myszkowski heard a loud bang Saturday morning while they were feeding their 11-month-old inside their home on Seaborn Road near Ponder.

When they went outside to inspect, they found what looked like a metal turbine on the roof of their mobile home.

Thompson said it weighed only a few pounds but hit with enough force to put a large gash in the metal roof.

"It was like somebody threw a hammer at the house," she said. "What else is going to fall out of the sky?"

Luckily, the object didn’t penetrate the home, as the family of five was inside at the time.


"Thank God it fell on the roof," Myszkowski said.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the matter, and a spokesperson said they are working to identify the object.

The family believes it may have fallen from a plane, as they see frequent air traffic in the area.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[D.C. Resident Hopes Silver Line Ends Her Long Commute]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 20:36:31 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000007260064_1200x675_311460419809.jpg Northern Virginia Bureau reporter David Culver took a ride with a D.C. resident who is hoping the Silver Line will cut down on her long commute.]]> <![CDATA[Traffic-Related Fatalities, Shootings of Police Officers Rise: Report]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 18:01:36 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/waldwick+officer+funeral.jpg

Traffic and firearms-related deaths of on-duty police officers are up for the first time in three years, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Sixty-seven law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the first half of 2014, 16 more than in the same period last year, according to the report. Twenty-six deaths were traffic-related, 25 were firearms-related.

Four officers were killed on duty in Virginia, including Deputy Sheriff Bryan Berger of Spotsylvania County. A recruit at the Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy, Berger was participating in fitness training in April when he collapsed and died.

Norfolk Police Officer Brian Jones was shot in May while responding to reports of a man firing at random from behind the wheel of his Jeep as he drove through Norfolk. That gunman was also killed -- as was a teen driving home from his school's graduation festivities.

Percy Lee House III, a sheriff's deputy from Emporia, Virginia, was killed when his patrol car apparently slipped off an icy road and plunged into a creek in January. And State Police Sgt. J. Michael Phillippi died in January in an early-morning crash of his patrol car. Phillippi was a 42 year veteran of the state police.

No officers died on the job during that time in Maryland or the District of Columbia. Eight officers were killed in California, more than in any other state.

The total number of officers killed, though up 31 percent over last year, is less than half what it was during the first half of 1974, when 140 officers died.

“The number of fatalities nationwide for the entire year of 2013 was 100 — the lowest number since 1944,” said Craig W. Floyd, the chairman and CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. “So what we're seeing this year is a spike certainly but still we’re seeing numbers that are somewhat encouraging when you compare it to decades past.”

Of the officers whose deaths were traffic-related, 17 died in car crashes, six were struck and killed outside their vehicles and three died in motorcycle crashes. Nineteen traffic-related deaths were reported in the same period last year and in 2012.

The number of traffic-related deaths has increased since the 1960s even as the number of deaths overall has decreased, the report notes.

Floyd said police officers need more driver training and better safety equipment in their cars. Most officers now receive about double the amount of firearms training as driver training, he said.

“And yet fewer than 10 percent of the officers serving today will ever fire their weapon in the line of duty,” he said. “Every officer at some point is going to be behind the wheel of their vehicle responding to an emergency call, chasing a fleeing felon, doing something that is dangerous when you’re a driver and you’re a law enforcement officer.”

As for the officers who were shot and killed, the number rose to 25, compared to 16 in 2013 and 19 in 2012, the report says. Most were killed by handguns, then by shotgun and rifle, and most died while investigating suspicious people or situations, the report says.

“The sharp rise in officers killed by gunfire — many in ambush-style attacks — as well as a significant increase in fatal on-duty heart attacks reminds us that much more work needs to be done to improve officer safety and wellness,” Floyd said in a statement.

Sixteen officers died from other causes, including 13 from job-related illnesses such as heart attacks. That is up from eight illness-related deaths last year.

In the breakdown by state, California was followed by Florida, New York, Texas and Virginia, which all saw four officers die. Fifteen other states had one officer killed; 21 states and the District of Columbia had none.

In addition, four federal officers, three territorial officers and a military officer were killed nationwide.

Most of those killed were municipal officers.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a non-profit dedicated to improving safety for law enforcement officers.

Jon Sonnheim of NBC Owned Television Stations contributed to this report.