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Injured Pentagon Police Officer Dies

12-Year Veteran Critically Hurt Last Month by Speeding Car

By Karin Brulliard
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 15, 2005; Page B02

A speeding car headed the wrong way peeled into the Pentagon's south parking lot early one morning last month, and Pentagon police officer James M. Feltis did what he always did: He tried to stop the driver and offer help.

The driver, fleeing Alexandria police in a suspected carjacking, did not slow, police said. Instead, he slammed into Feltis, then crashed the vehicle into a guardrail.

James M. Feltis suffered head injuries when struck Jan. 11.

Feltis, critically injured, was taken to a hospital, where he never regained consciousness. He died from his injuries shortly after noon yesterday, more than a month after the incident at the Pentagon, the Department of Defense said.

The suspect, Ossie Larode, 22, was indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday on charges that include carjacking and attempted murder. He is being held by the U.S. Marshals Service in Alexandria.

Pentagon police officials did not return a phone call yesterday. Last month, colleagues told The Washington Post that Feltis was a reliable, attentive officer who regularly spotted and assisted drivers who found themselves lost in the Pentagon's massive parking lot.

That's probably what Feltis, 41, thought he was dealing with Jan. 11 when he saw a black Cadillac race the wrong direction down a one-way street on Pentagon property, then head toward the traffic booth he was manning, Pentagon Police Chief Richard S. Keevill said last month.

"A lot of time, people get lost [in the parking lot], and he sets them in the right direction. He always pays attention," Lt. Zelma Owens said last month. She supervised Feltis for 10 years.

Last Tuesday, Feltis, a 12-year veteran of the Pentagon police force, was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal of Valor for suffering life-threatening injuries in the line of duty.

The award was presented to him in a bedside ceremony attended by his wife, Mary, of Stafford County.

Mary Feltis did not return a phone call yesterday.

Authorities said the driver of the car had stolen the vehicle from a McDonald's restaurant in Alexandria after striking its owner, a 65-year-old Maryland man.

He then led Alexandria and Fairfax County police and Virginia state troopers on a high-speed chase on Interstate 395 to the Pentagon, where he plowed into Feltis and crashed the Cadillac before being wrestled down by law enforcement officers.

Keevill said last month that Feltis suffered a massive head wound, internal bleeding and a fractured leg from the blow.

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