A federal jury yesterday convicted two brothers from El Salvador of attempted murder and other charges in the Aug. 12 beating of U.S. Park Police Officer James P. Culver in Rock Creek Park.
The brothers, Jose B. Salamanca, 38, and Hector A. Salamanca, 35, construction workers who lived in the 1400 block of Tuckerman Street NW, were arrested shortly after Culver's beating, which occurred late at night in a picnic grove in the park.
According to trial testimony, Culver had stopped the two men and Jose Salamanca's girlfriend when he saw their car in a parking lot after hours. When Culver noticed that the two men had been drinking beer, he asked for their keys, the officer testified.
Olinda Martinez, who was with the brothers, testified that she saw Jose Salamanca return to the car on the pretext of looking for the keys, then pull a wooden club from under the driver's seat and attack Culver.
The officer, who is 24, lost the sight in his left eye as a result of the attack.
Hector Salamanca faces up to 50 years in prison; Jose Salamanca, who was convicted of an additional charge of assault with intent to murder, faces up to 70 years in prison.