Saturday, March 31, 2007


Officer Injured by Pack of Dogs

A Fairfax County police officer was hurt and two dogs were shot and killed when a pack of dogs attacked officers serving a search warrant for a drug investigation in the Franconia area, police said yesterday.

As a police tactical unit was entering a residence in the 6400 block of Zekan Lane about 10:30 p.m. Thursday, a pit bull attacked and bit an officer. That dog was shot and killed, Officer Donald Gotthardt said, as was a Rottweiler-Labrador mix that also charged. A third dog was injured, not by gunfire, and treated by a veterinarian. Two pit bulls were uninjured and later released to their owner.

Gotthardt said that people were inside the residence at the time and that investigators suspected one might be armed. No one was arrested Thursday night, Gotthardt said. The bitten officer was treated at an emergency care center for minor injuries.

-- Tom Jackman


Courthouse to Ban Cellphones

Cellphones, cameras, pagers, tape recorders and various other electronic devices will be banned from the Arlington County Courthouse building effective April 23, the sheriff's office said yesterday.

"There have been cases when people's cellphones would ring right in the middle of testimony," said Maj. Arnold Sites, director of judicial services for the sheriff's office. He said the move was taken to "protect the integrity of the judicial system."

Previously, cellphones were allowed in courtrooms but required to be silenced.

He said with today's cellphones, it's not always easy to tell if a photograph is being taken or a recording made. Lockers will be available in the lobby of the nearby Arlington County Detention Center to store banned items. Attorneys with a Virginia bar membership card will be exempt.

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