D.C. area news briefs

September 21, 2013
MARYLAND
Greenbelt man charged in rape case

A Greenbelt man has been arrested and charged with human trafficking and related counts after a 14-year-old girl told investigators he forced her to have sex with him for drugs, authorities said.

Ronald W. Cheek, 43, was arrested and formally charged Wednesday after police found him, a woman and the 14-year-old girl at a La Plata hotel, authorities said. Cheek is charged with human trafficking, second-degree rape and crack cocaine possession. Police said he is being held on a no-bond status in Charles County.

— Matt Zapotosky

Virus threat closes Bowie horse barn

Maryland Jockey Club officials quarantined a barn at the Bowie Training Center on Saturday as they awaited the results of test to determine if a horse in that barn had a virus that causes respiratory infection and neurological disease, authorities said.

In a news release, officials said a suspected case of so-called equine herpesvirus prompted them to place a “hold order” on Barn 16 at the Bowie facility — meaning no horses can go in or out until they are cleared by state agriculture officials. The barn holds 27 horses of the 490 at the Bowie Training Center, authorities said.

Equine herpesvirus 1, sometimes called “rhino,” is known to cause upper respiratory infection and neurological disease, and it is generally transmitted through coughing, sneezing or direct contact, authorities said. The horse suspected to be infected by the virus was euthanized Saturday, authorities said.

— Matt Zapotosky

THE DISTRICT
Man dies 3 weeks after altercation

A former middle school teacher and band bass player who was critically injured as he tried to subdue an unruly patron last month at an Adams Morgan bar has died, and the D.C. chief medical examiner has ruled the case a homicide, authorities said Saturday.

Rockwell John Flint, 45, of Northwest D.C., died Friday, and the medical examiner ruled the same day that the death was a homicide, caused by multiple blunt-impact injuries, police said in a news release. He had been in critical condition since Aug. 30, when he was injured attempting to subdue a patron who threw a glass at a bartender and swung a stool at people at the Rendezvous Lounge on 18th Street NW.

— Matt Zapotosky

Rash of violence leaves 1 dead, 5 hurt

Six people were either shot or stabbed — one of them fatally — in a sudden spasm of violence across the District on Saturday, authorities said.

Police said the incidents were unrelated, their causes ranging from robberies to domestic squabbles and their locations spanning Southeast to Northwest. Detectives have made an arrest in only one of the cases.

The most significant incident occurred just after 12:40 a.m. in the 5300 block of Georgia Avenue NW. Officer Hugh Carew, a D.C. police spokesman, said officers on routine patrol found a man with stab wounds lying on the ground. He was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, Carew said.

— Matt Zapotosky

VIRGINIA
Boy killed as juvenile tries to elude police

A boy was killed at Fairfax City intersection early Saturday after the car he was riding in crashed as it fled from a Virginia State Police trooper and Fairfax County officer, authorities said.

Police did not immediately identify the boy or provide his age, saying they were working to notify his family members of the incident. They said they had charged the 15-year-old driver of the car he was riding in with involuntary manslaughter, attempting to elude police, hit-and-run and driving without a license. They also did not identify the driver, saying he had been charged as a juvenile.

The incident began about 12:45 a.m., when a Virginia State Police trooper spotted a Honda Accord “driving erratically at a high rate of speed.” The trooper turned on his lights to try to pull the Honda over, but it sped away, police said.

Police said that the Honda ran a red light at the intersection with Route 29 and collided with a Toyota Camry, which had the green light. The driver of the Honda then got out and tried to flee but was taken into custody by the trooper, police said.

A juvenile passenger in the Honda was killed, and the Camry’s driver sustained non-life-threatening injuries, according to authorities. The 15-year-old also sustained non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Police said they was unsure how long the entire encounter lasted.

— Matt Zapotosky

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