A man accused of participating in the brutal beating of a jogger in Silver Spring last June pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Circuit Court yesterday to assault with intent to maim.
Daniel Price, 18, of Highland, Md., entered the plea in the assault on David Gottlieb, a 34-year-old civil rights specialist at the General Services Administration, who suffered a fractured skull and other injuries when he was kicked and beaten by two men who accosted him while he was jogging last June 19. Price was arrested Sept. 20.
Price, who has not offered a public explanation for the incident, could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. He told Judge John J. Mitchell yesterday that "I'd rather plead guilty to this [assault with intent to maim] than have to take a chance on the assault with intent to murder charge" originally lodged against him. Assault with intent to murder is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
The judge scheduled sentencing for April 5.
Although Gottlieb was attacked by two men, a second suspect has never been identified and the police investigation is continuing.
Gottlieb told Mitchell yesterday that the assault cost him $15,000 to $20,000 in hospital bills, doctor bills and lost work time and that he is now able to run only two miles a day instead of the 20 he was accustomed to.
On the night of the incident, he testified, a burgundy pickup truck started following him as he jogged in the 1400 block of Rippling Spring Drive, and an occupant of the truck demanded several times that he stop running.
"I am a runner," Gottlieb and proudly, "a marathoner . . . I did not want to be interrupted in my running, that was very important to me . . . I pretended I didn't speak English."
When the men caught up with him, Gottlieb testified, "they started kicking and stomping on me . . . I was down on the ground . . . yelling for help but no one was coming . . . I couldn't hit [one of the attackers] because I was afraid I would hurt him." But he said moments alter he did hit one of his assailants in the face with a rock and managed to stumble to a nearby house to seek help.