VIRGINIA

Fairfax County Beating Victim Dies

A Fairfax County man who apparently was beaten during a fight in a residential neighborhood Sunday morning died yesterday afternoon at Inova Fairfax Hospital, and two Spotsylvania County men charged with the beating may soon face murder charges, authorities said.

The fight occurred about 1:15 a.m. Sunday in the Kingstowne area of Fairfax County, just east of Fort Belvoir. Police said Justin R. Rhatigan, 21, of the 7700 block of Haynes Point Way, was found lying on the ground in the 7300 block of Springleigh Way, suffering from blunt-force trauma to his upper body. His attackers fled before officers arrived, police said.

Detectives yesterday arrested Micah O. Bohn, 19, and Joe Kern, 23, who both live in the 11200 block of Brock Road in Spotsylvania County, and charged them with malicious wounding. Rhatigan died while they were being held in the Fairfax County jail.

Police declined to disclose a motive for the killing, which was the 14th homicide in Fairfax County this year. No murder charges were filed yesterday pending the completion of an autopsy.

Two Stabbed and Beaten Outside Store

A 16-year-old youth and 21-year-old man were stabbed and beaten with a baseball bat outside a 7-Eleven store near Baileys Crossroads on Sunday night, and police are investigating the possibility that the incident was gang-related.

The two victims live in the Culmore area near the store at 5929 Leesburg Pike. Fairfax County police said that the two were approached by six men and that an altercation broke out about 11:15 p.m. Sunday. As two of the attackers stabbed the victims with knives, a third man struck them with a baseball bat, police said. The assailants then climbed into a car and fled.

Both victims were admitted to Inova Fairfax Hospital, but their injuries were not considered to be life-threatening. Police spokesman Warren Carmichael said investigators were trying to determine whether gangs were involved in the incident.

Marine Charged in Fairfax Hit-and-Run

A Falls Church area man stationed at a Marine Corps base in North Carolina has been arrested and charged with felony hit-and-run in an incident this month in which a teenager's lower leg was severed.

Fairfax County police said the incident began with a fight in the 3000 block of Kadala Place in the Falls Church area. Shortly after 1 a.m. on July 3, Rudy Escobar, 21, and a 17-year-old youth tried to flee the area in a van, police said, but the vehicle struck a 72-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl who had been trying to break up the fight.

The man suffered a broken leg, and the teenager suffered head injuries, a broken pelvis and a leg severed above the ankle. The leg later was amputated. Witnesses identified Escobar and the 17-year-old male with him, police said, and authorities obtained warrants charging the two with hit-and-run and two counts of failure to report a hit-and-run.

Escobar was arrested after he returned to Camp LeJeune, N.C. He was being held there yesterday pending an extradition hearing. The 17-year-old was being held in juvenile detention.

MARYLAND

Prosecutor to Focus on Gang Crimes

Montgomery County will use a full-time prosecutor to handle crimes in which alleged gang members are charged. County officials unveiled the plan yesterday as part of a strategy aimed at fighting juvenile crime.

The prosecutor also will be involved in the county's efforts to work with at-risk youths and community agencies on delinquency prevention programs. The State of Maryland announced $126,000 in grants for the projects. The strategy was developed with the assistance of 90 community leaders and social service experts.