Local digest: A roundup of D.C. area news briefs

April 25
THE DISTRICT
Man fatally stabbed in SE Washington

A 44-year-old man was fatally stabbed Thursday night in Southeast Washington, D.C. police said.

The incident occurred about 10:40 p.m. in the 900 block of Barnaby Street SE, in the Washington Highlands neighborhood near the Maryland line.

Police identified the man as Ernest Harkum of Southeast. Police said he was found lying on the street and died later at a hospital.

Police did not comment on a possible motive. No arrests have been made. Authorities are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Anyone with information is urged to call 202-727-9099 or text the department’s tip line at 50411.

— Peter Hermann

MARYLAND
Fire in Darnestown displaces family

A Darnestown house fire Thursday night may have ignited after contractors working on a deck improperly discarded oily rags and paint brushes in a plastic bag, Montgomery County fire officials said.

The blaze started about 10:30 p.m. in the 15100 block of Rollinmeade Drive and displaced a family of six, two adults and four children. No injuries were reported.

Fire officials estimated the damage at $1.5 million, $1 million to the house and $500,000 to its contents.

The fire started in a shed and spread to the deck and the house, fire officials said. The oily rags and paint brushes caused a “spontaneous combustion,” fire officials wrote in a Twitter message.

— Dana Hedgpeth

VIRGINIA
Aide charged with assaulting student

A teacher’s aide with the Loudoun County school system was charged Friday with misdemeanor assault and battery in connection with an incident involving a middle school student, the county Sheriff’s Office said.

Leopoldo A. Cabrales, 65, of South Riding was charged in a March 27 assault on a 12-year-old student in class at Sterling Middle School, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The student received minor injuries, authorities said.

The case was handled by Loudoun Child Protective Services before investigators in the Sheriff’s Office were notified, authorities said.

Cabrales was released by a Loudoun magistrate on an unsecured $5,000 bond, the Sheriff’s Office said.

— Caitlin Gibson

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