A 39-year-old District woman told a packed Montgomery County courtroom yesterday how she was seized from behind on a quiet Aspen Hill residential street in March 1982 and dragged into a back yard and raped by a man who told her, "If you move, I'm going to kill you."
As this, the second of the Aspen Hill rape trials, opened yesterday, prosecutor Barry Hamilton told the judge that Timothy Joseph Buzbee raped the woman after grabbing her as she got out of her car and that during the attack he stole an Exxon credit card from her wallet.
Hamilton told Circuit Court Judge John F. McAuliffe that the stolen card was found in the drawer of a drafting table that Buzbee used at his father's Gaithersburg land surveying firm. Police searched the office last November on the night they arrested Buzbee as a suspect in the Aspen Hill rape cases.
Hamilton also asserted that an FBI handwriting analyst had found that license tag numbers written on credit card slips charged to the card at several Maryland gas stations were written "in the hand of Timothy Buzbee." The analyst, he said, had compared the credit card slips with samples of Buzbee's handwriting.
Earlier this month, Buzbee was found guilty of raping a 15-year-old girl, and he faces two other rape charges, all part of a group of crimes that were named for the upper-middle-income neighborhood in which they occurred. Buzbee has pleaded not guilty in all of the cases.
His attorney, Reginald W. Bours III, did not outline his defense yesterday, reserving his argument for later in the trial.
The victim testified that she drove to a friend's home on Breeze Hill Lane in Silver Spring on March 9, 1982. She said she mistakenly drove past the house and had turned to look behind her so she could back up when she saw the headlights of a car. As that car slowly passed hers, she said, "the driver . . . glared at me . . . . I wondered why, but he drove on."
She said the car was silver and looked "like a small Honda or a car similar to that." The driver, she said, was a white male, between 20 and 30 years old, who wore glasses with dark rims. Hamilton said the evidence would show that Buzbee, 25, wore such glasses and drove a silver Toyota Tercel at that time.
Moments later, after she had parked and gotten out of her car, she said she was grabbed from behind by a man who put his hand across her mouth and said, "Shut up or I'll kill you."
"He forced me around the car . . . up the front lawn and threw me down and told me to get on my stomach," she testified. Then, she said, the man pushed her face into the ground and sat on her back. She said she heard the click of her purse and her wallet being opened, and thought the man would rob her "and then go away."
Instead, he pulled her up by her hair, pulled her into the back yard and then pushed her to the ground, she said. He took off the gloves she was wearing and put them over her face, and then raped her, she testified.
"He said, 'If you move, I'm going to kill you,' " she testified. "I was horrified. I thought I was going to die."
She glimpsed his face for only an instant, when one finger of a glove fell away from her eyes, and saw that he wore glasses, she said. She also said she felt his "stubbly" beard while she was being raped.
After the rape, the man told her to stay where she was for five minutes. Then, she said, he threatened "to come back and kill me" if he saw any policemen in the area in the next three days. With that, he ran off and the victim ran to the front of the house, pounded on the door and fell into her friends' arms when they answered it.
During her testimony, the victim identified the Exxon card the prosecutor showed her as the one missing from her wallet after the rape. She said that in the weeks after the attack, she received bills from Exxon with copies of credit card slips charged to her stolen card and signed with her last name and three different first names, each of them male. She said she knew no one by any of those names.