August 29, 2013
THE DISTRICT
Vandalism suspect
in psychiatric ward

The woman arrested last month in connection with vandalism of city landmarks with green paint has been moved from a halfway house to a psychiatric ward, her attorney said Thursday during a hearing in D.C. Superior Court.

Judge A. Franklin Burgess Jr. ordered another hearing, Sept. 18, for Jiamei Tian, 58, who is charged with one count of defacing property. She was arrested July 29 at Washington National Cathedral shortly after authorities discovered paint on an organ in the Bethlehem Chapel and in the cathedral’s Children’s Chapel.

Authorities have said Tian, who they believe is homeless, is also a suspect in vandalism in which green paint was used to mar the Lincoln Memorial, a statue near the Smithsonian Castle on the Mall and Luther Place Memorial Church at Thomas Circle and a statue of Martin Luther outside the church.

This month, a judge ordered Tian released from custody and placed in a halfway house. At Thursday’s status hearing,

Tian’s attorney, Nancy Glass from the D.C. Public Defender Service, told Burgess that doctors who evaluated Tian on Wednesday were concerned about her mental state.

Tian was moved to the psychiatric ward at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Glass said. Tian, who appeared at a previous hearing with a Mandarin interpreter, was not in court Thursday.

— Peter Hermann

Twitter campaign
for dirt bikes, ATVs

D.C. Council member Marion S. Barry is apparently “disturbed” at reports of arrests and allegations of excessive force by D.C. police as officers crack down on illegal dirt bikes and ATVs in the city, according to messages from his Twitter account.

In a series of tweets, Barry (D-Ward 8) asked Chief Cathy L. Lanier to meet with him and parents from his ward to discuss possible options for giving young people a way to legally ride dirt bikes and ATVs in the city.

Such off-road vehicles are illegal to operate anywhere in the city, and authorities have charged about 100 riders in the past two years and seized dozens of vehicles.

“Chief Lanier, Instead of treating kids as criminals, endangering their lives, lets work together 4 safety courses/helmets,” one tweet read. Barry could not be reached immediately Thursday evening to confirm that he wrote the tweets.

The number of urban riders has grown in recent years in the District and Prince George’s County, and residents have complained about noise and reckless driving and expressed concerns about safety in parks and elsewhere in their neighborhoods.

To enforce the law, police officials said, officers do not chase riders. Instead, they said, officers take pictures of the violators, identify them and seek arrest warrants.

— Clarence Williams

Woman stabbed
in Brookland

A woman was stabbed in the stomach shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday near the Brookland Metro station in Northeast Washington, D.C. police said.

The stabbing was initially reported to be on Michigan Avenue, just outside the station, but police set up a crime scene two blocks away, at 10th and Newton streets NE. Police said that the victim was found at 10th and Newton but that they were trying to determine precisely where the stabbing occurred.

Authorities said the victim was reported to be conscious and breathing when she was taken to a hospital. Police said the woman told them that she had been stabbed by another woman. No further description was provided.

— Peter Hermann

VIRGINIA
Sex assault reported in Prince William

Prince William County police said they are searching for a man who crept through an unsecured window and sexually assaulted a 38-year-old woman in her bedroom Wednesday.

Police were called to the 1700 block of River Bend Way in Woodbridge about 10 a.m. Wednesday. The attacker was described as 25 to 30 years old, between 6 feet and 6 feet 5 inches tall, with a thin build and short hair. The victim told police that the man had covered his face with a towel.

The man was wearing a black tank top, black shorts and white and red shoes, and he was carrying a small, tan towel, police said.

— Jeremy Borden

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