It was about 7 o'clock Friday night when Feldon Louis Callahan Jr. was arrested at 14th and W street NW and charged with carrying a dangerous weapon -- a shotgun, according to D.C. police.
He was taken to the 3rd District station at 1620 V St. NW, where he was booked at 7:10 p.m., the investigators said. Two 3rd District police officers took him by paddy wagon to the central cellblock at police headquarters at 300 Indiana Ave. NW, where he was photographed and fingerprinted.
About 11 p.m., he was returned to the 3rd District station, where he was supposed to be released on personal bond pending a hearing May 26. But, as things turned out, the release was a little long in coming.
For a reason police have yet to pin down, Callahan, a 43-year-old resident of The Plains, Va., spent the night locked up in the back of the paddy wagon, which had been carefully parked and locked at a curbside space near the staton. Callahan finally was released about 9 a.m. Saturday after an officer heard him screaming, "Let me out, let me out!" and kicking the door of the wagon.
Why the officers left Callahan in the wagon overnight could not be determined yesterday. "We are investigating it now," said Deputy Chief Rodwell M. Catoe, commander of the 3rd District. He refused to name any of the officers involved in the incident.
"He could have stayed in there all day if the officer had not heard him," said one policeman, who, understandably, asked not to be identified.
The interior of a paddy wagon can best be described as utilitarian. It has a plain metal floor and two metal benches on either side. There are no blankets. There is a small fan to stir the air, but Callahan probably didn't turn it on because the temperature that night dipped to 57 degrees. There are no openings to admit fresh air.
Persons who are arrested for carrying a dangerous weapon frequently are released on personal bond pending trial, a deliverance ordered for Callahan but one that was delayed until shortly after dawn's early light.
An official familiar with the incident said one or more of the officers involved apparently had been negligent and probably would have to answer disciplinary charges before a police trial board.
Callahan, who gave his occupation as a linesman for a utility company, could be reached for comment which might havebeen just as well.