A 14-year-old youth who talked his way into a summer job with Mayor Marion Barry's office was arrested yesterday and charged with burglary and larceny involving two thefts inside the District Building.
The youth, who was hired a week ago as part of the summer jobs program and earns $2.65 an hour, allegedly took money from a woman's purse on Tuesday and a man's coat pocket last Friday, according to city officials. Both the woman and man work for the corporation counsel's office on the third floor of the District Building.
A city official said yesterday that there had been several complaints that the youth had been seen "where he didn't belong" in various parts of the building. Before taking the summer job, an official said, the youth had done volunteer work for the mayor's office.
Officials said the youth got his job after he arrived at the District Building to apply for the program and happened to see Barry. The youth, who told Barry he had met him before in Anacostia, impressed the mayor with his enthusiasm and was hired, officials said.
Yesterday, a spokeswoman for Barry and an attorney for the corporation counsel's office both declined comment on the youth or his job, citing "the confidentiality of juvenile records."
Audrey Rowe, special assistant to the mayor for youth affairs, said she had called Police Chief Burtell Jefferson on Tuesday and requested that the youth be allowed to turn himself in to police. "It was a procedural thing," she said, "just to find out what to do."
Rowe said she had not sought special treatment for the youth. Jefferson said yesterday that he had told Rowe that if the youth were charged, police would arrest him if he didn't make arrangements to give himself up.
The youth was served with a juvenile "custody warrant" similar to an arrest warrant after he reported yesterday to the 1st District police station in Southwest Washington.