Man charged in stabbing of ex-girlfriend's companion in Wheaton

By Dan Morse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Breakups can set off all kinds of reactions. Phone calls to the ex. Jealousy. Sadness.

Edwin Escobar-Salmeron, to hear a Montgomery County prosecutor tell it in court Monday, took things to his own level.

Seated behind the wheel of a Toyota Camry late Friday, he saw his ex-girlfriend leave a Wheaton bar and climb into her Honda Accord with four others, authorities said. He rammed the side of the Honda, crashing it into a parked car; got out and banged on the Honda's windows; and approached a man who'd exited the Honda and stabbed him five times, four of them in the chest, according to police charging documents.

"His ex-girlfriend was out at a bar with another person. He apparently didn't like that," Assistant State's Attorney Danielle Sartwell said in court, arguing successfully that Escobar-Salmeron should remain held without bond.

Escobar-Salmeron, 29, of Adelphi was charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, stalking, reckless endangerment and malicious destruction of property, police said. Authorities say he is a member of the MS-13 gang and might be in the country illegally.

The 27-year-old stabbing victim, whom officers said they found "completely unresponsive" lying on a sidewalk, was taken to a hospital. He is expected to survive.

In court Monday, Sartwell said Escobar-Salmeron's immigration status made him a flight risk, noting that federal agents have placed an immigration detainer on him. In 2005, she said, he had been deported after two convictions for reckless endangerment in the county.

A witness at the crash and stabbing scene also said Escobar-Salmeron had been deported.

But it was unclear, according to court records, whether he had ever left the country.

In 2006, Escobar-Salmeron was present at two court hearings in Montgomery in an unsuccessful bid to get a new trial on the reckless endangerment charges, according to court records. That conviction stemmed from a 2003 incident in which he threatened four people with a machete, according to police accounts.

Ernestine Fobbs, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, declined to comment, as did Sartwell. According to court records, Escobar-Salmeron has not obtained an attorney.

In Friday's case, police say Escobar-Salmeron followed the group and rammed the Honda a short distance away. A witness gave officers five digits of the Toyota's license plate, which the witness said was blue, leading officers to suspect that it was a "Chesapeake Bay" tag. They put "CB" after the five numbers, giving them the full tag number, which led them to Escobar-Salmeron, according to charging documents.

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