Teen Charged With Running Down Officer
Saturday, December 15, 2007
A 15-year-old District youth, accused of hitting a D.C. police officer while driving a stolen limousine Thursday, said he was aiming to strike and kill another officer, a detective testified yesterday.
The detective, Chad Howard, said the teenager told him that he wanted to kill Officer Michael Architzel, a member of the mountain bike patrol in the 6th Police District.
Architzel's partner, Brian Bobick, 30, pushed him out of the way as the limousine accelerated toward them in the 4400 block of Ord Street NE and was hit himself.
Bobick, a six-year veteran of the force, remained in an induced coma yesterday at a Washington hospital with a fractured leg, arm and jaw and multiple facial fractures, Howard said. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier told reporters that Bobick and his partner "have a reputation for being very hard-working" and that the incident "is very disturbing."
Howard's testimony came in a hearing in D.C. Superior Court. The youth is charged as a juvenile, and a Washington Post reporter attended the proceedings after agreeing not to identify him.
Howard did not provide details about why the youth might have wanted to harm Architzel, or reveal whether he had previous dealings with the officers.
D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer said she will seek the court's permission to try the youth as an adult on a charge of assault with intent to murder while armed. Singer participated in yesterday's hearing as co-counsel for the prosecution, one of the first times she has done so since taking office in January.
"This is an intended murder of a police officer. This is the most serious charge that I can think of," Singer said.
Howard said the trouble began about 4:40 p.m. when the officers saw the limousine, a black four-door Cadillac with tinted windows, double-parked on Ord Street. As the officers approached the vehicle, the driver hit the gas, Howard said.
The detective said he arrived at the scene moments later after receiving a call of an "officer down." He said he found Bobick lying on his left side in the street, bleeding heavily. His mountain bike was broken in half.
The limousine was discovered a few blocks away, but the driver escaped.
Within an hour of the incident, witnesses identified the youth as having been behind the wheel of the car earlier in the day. Howard said no witnesses have emerged to identify the youth as the driver who hit the officer.
The youth was arrested about 1 a.m. yesterday. Howard said the teenager said he wanted to kill Architzel and told the detective where to find the car keys, which he had thrown behind a shed at 45th and Ponds Street NE.
The small-framed teen, dressed in a long-sleeved white thermal undershirt, sat at the defense table with his hands shackled in front of him.
He was ordered to be retained in a juvenile detention facility until his next hearing Thursday, when prosecutors will officially submit charges.
His mother sat two rows behind him, continuously sobbing. The teenager handed his watch to a U.S. marshal to give to his mother to keep.
Staff writer Allison Klein contributed to this report.