David C. Perash, one of four persons whose threats were slashed during an armed robbery in Fairfax County in August, testified in court yesterday that he played dead after his throat had been cut three times, to avoid being slashed still another time.
"I stopped breathing and held my head so I could look dead," Perash said during a preliminary hearing for two of the six suspects in Fairfax General District Court.
perash identified the two suspects at the hearing Andrew E. Porter, 19, of 2632 Columbia Pl., Landover, and Brando Richardson, 20, of 867 1st St. NE - as two of the five persons was entered the Fairfax County apartment where the threat slashings took place.
Sitting with his hands folded before him and showing little emotions, Perash described the assaults to a hushed courtroom, where the parents and friends of the victims sat on one side and the relatives and friends of the two suspects sat on the other.
Perash said he and the three other victims had just finished eating breakfast about 1:30 p.m. when there was a knock on the apartment door.
He said four men walked into the apartment and he began "clearing a seat for them" when he noticed a gun protruding from clothing of one of the men. He said he did not recognize them.
Perash said the men, two of whom were armed with handguns, ordered the four the separate areas of the apartment. He said Stephen Dowell, 20, who lived in the apartment at 9136 Barrick St., near Fairfax City, was ordered to lie face down on the floor near the apartment door.
He said Porter began searching Dowell while holding a gun over him. Perash said another man whom he could not identify, began searching his suitcase, which was in the living room. He said a third man searched the back rooms in the apartment.
Perash said there appeared to be one man who was giving all the orders during the incident, which lasted about 40 minutes. He said a fifth man entered the apartment after the incident began.
Perash said cash, money and rings were taken from the four victims. He said the men then began ransacking the apartment and placed the items in a pile on the living room floors. He said the stolen property subsequently was put into his suitcase and taken.
After gathering the property, he said, the men then took the four victims to two separate rooms and a closet.
Perash said the men, who has bound the hands of this victims, "put a rag over my head and my neck was cut repeatedly."
He said after his neck had been slashed twice, he heard a voice say, "No man, you've got to get the jugular." He said the neck was then cut a third time.
Perash, a former Northern Virginia resident now living in Pennsylvania, said he had a scar on the right side of his neck from the incident and pointed it out to Judge Lewis H. Griffith.
After he had been cut. Perash said, he tried to reach the telephone in the bedroom when the heard one of the men coming toward him from another room.
He said he heard someone say. "These two are done or finished," a reference to him and another victim, Debra Telford. He said he then faked dead to avoid further slashings.
Perash said that after the men left, he tried to telephone the police but the phone wire had been cut. Telford, 20, of 2530 Leeds Rd., Oakton, soon managed to free herself and alert a neighbor who summoned police.
The fourth victim was Laura Bombere, 18, of 3139 Highland La., Fairfax. All four victims were in the courtroom yesterday, although Perash was the only one to testify.