Local digest for Feb. 11, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011; 8:06 PM

Metro iPhone thief sentenced to 6 years

A man who was part of a ring that steals iPhones from Metro passengers was sentenced in D.C. Superior Court to six years in prison for two robberies and drug charges, officials said Wednesday.

Terrence McNatt, 24, told police when he was arrested that he was a member of the "Swisha Splash Boys," a group that robs Metro passengers of iPhones.

McNatt was convicted by a jury in December of two counts of robbery. He had earlier pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine and marijuana at the time of his arrest.

- Allison Klein

Suspect returned from El Salvador

Henry Chavez, a 3-foot-11-inch man wanted by Montgomery County police since May as a suspect in a fatal shooting, was recently found in El Salvador, U.S. Marshals said Thursday.

Chavez was flown Wednesday to Houston in the custody of officials from the U.S. State Department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said Alfredo Perez, a deputy U.S. marshal in Houston.

Perez didn't know the details of how Chavez was found in El Salvador. He said in many cases such as this, a U.S. suspect who flees to another country is deported from that country for being there illegally. Chavez is a U.S. citizen, Perez said.

Chavez is awaiting extradition to Montgomery County, Perez said. He is accused of shooting Hamington Luis Ravanales Orozco, 27, in May.

On the night that Ravanales Orozco was shot, a call came into police that "a very small man or a dwarf" could be responsible, a spokesman said at the time.

- Dan Morse

Physician charged with sexual assault

A Woodbridge physician was charged in the sexual assault of three patients in his office last year, according to Prince William County police.

Nizar Mohamed Hussain, 44, of the 8900 block of Brook Road in McLean, has been charged with one count of sexual battery and two counts of assault and battery.

The charges stem from three separate alleged incidents in March, September and December last year in which he was said to have inappropriately touched three women while they were in his care.

He allegedly sexually assaulted a 52-year-old woman who lives in Stafford in September. In the December and March incidents, he supposedly tried to kiss the two other women, both of whom are 37, without their consent.

In December, Hussain was charged with sexual battery and assault and battery, also from incidents involving patients, police said.

All the incidents allegedly happened in his office at 2000 Opitz Blvd. He was released without bond and has a court date scheduled for April 7.

- Allison Klein

State House, Senate adopt budgets

The Virginia Senate and House of Delegates have adopted competing plans to amend the state's two-year $78 billion budget and will spend the remainder of this year's legislative session hashing out differences.

Although both chambers held lengthy debates about some budget items, they each ultimately adopted plans forwarded to them Sunday by their respective budget panels - the Senate Finance Committee and the House Appropriations Committee.

In the state Senate, the budget was adopted by an overwhelming, bipartisan 37 to 3 vote, as senators in both parties generally agreed to apply new state revenues generated by improving tax collections to restore some cuts to Medicaid and education that had been made during the recession. The legislators are amending a budget that had included billions in reductions, paring spending back to 2006 levels.

The budget was the subject of much more vigorous debate in the House, where the House agreed over Democratic objections to accept a proposal from Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) to spend $150 million in surplus cash on state roads this year.

Democrats spent hours arguing the Republican majority was robbing schools to fix roads before the budget was ultimately adopted by a 69 to 28 vote.

- Rosalind S. Helderman

Commuters lose some mall parking

A slugging and commuter parking system that some Prince William residents say has worked well for years will end Monday, sending hundreds of people in search of alternatives.

Potomac Mills mall officials announced in January that they planned to slash the number of commuter spaces from about 1,000 to 275 to make way for new commercial development.

Displaced commuters will have to find new places to slug and catch the bus.

About 200 of those people met with Prince William officials Wednesday night to hear what other options are available and to voice their frustration.

"I don't know what I am going to do on Monday," said Prince William resident Denise Burkhart, who has "slugged" by catching rides from Potomac Mills for more than 10 years. "It is going to be extremely disruptive for me. Even if I try to go somewhere else to get picked up, I won't know how I will get back home."

Potomac Mills General Manager Mike Sullivan said the county requires the mall to provide 275 spaces. For more than 20 years, however, it provided four to five times what is required.

- Jennifer Buske

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