THE REGION

Off-Duty D.C. Officer Attacked at Carwash

An off-duty District police officer who had just finished his shift was shot in the hand early yesterday by two assailants at a 24-hour carwash in Oxon Hill, Prince George's County police said.

The 54-year-old officer, whose name was not released, was washing his personal car at Billy's Auto Laundry in the 9100 block of Livingston Road about 12:35 a.m. when he was approached by two men in their early twenties, one of whom was waving a handgun, police said.

The man with the gun, who was wearing a bandanna over his face, fired at least one shot at the officer, striking him in the hand and grazing him in the abdomen, police said. The officer returned fire with his service weapon, and the two suspects ran away, although it is unclear if either of them was wounded, police said.

Police said they didn't know how many shots were exchanged and said they were still trying to figure out a motive for the attack. "We're not sure if it's an attempted carjacking or robbery or what," said Cpl. Irene Huskens, a Prince George's police spokeswoman.

The officer was hospitalized in stable condition last night with injuries that were not considered to be life-threatening.

THE DISTRICT

Officer Charged With Crack Possession

An off-duty D.C. police officer was arrested Sunday and charged with possessing crack cocaine, police said.

Kevin C. Cranford, 35, who has been a uniformed patrol officer in the 6th Police District for 22 months, was arrested at 4:03 a.m. Sunday, police said. Sixth District officers observed Cranford apparently trading packets of crack cocaine with a woman seated in a car at 60th and Blaine streets NE, a police official said.

Cranford was placed on paid administrative leave pending the completion of the investigation, the official said. A law enforcement official said Cranford was released on a citation. A court date has been scheduled for Sept. 3, the official said.

Abduction, Robberies May Be Linked

A 25-year-old District man charged with the armed abduction of a woman in Northeast Washington may be responsible for a string of armed robberies in the Capitol Hill area, police said yesterday.

Neville Antwoine Saxton, who has several addresses in the District, was arrested at 7:45 a.m. Tuesday by Officer Kenneth Catterton, officials said. The officer thought that Saxton was following an elderly woman, and "a citizen had also flagged down the officer out of concern for the woman's safety," said 1st District Cmdr. Kim C. Dine.

Saxton fled when the officer approached, then discarded a handgun, which police recovered, officials said. Saxton was arrested in the 600 block of North Carolina Avenue SE and was charged with carrying an unlicensed pistol. He also had an outstanding traffic bench warrant, police said.

Later Tuesday, detectives charged Saxton with the Aug. 16 armed kidnapping of a woman who reportedly had been abducted in the 600 block of A Street NE. The woman was taken to a teller machine in the 300 block of Florida Avenue NE, but her attacker was unsuccessful in getting money from her account, police said.

"We're investigating the potential of his involvement with other crimes," Dine said.

Suspect Sought in Sexual Assault in Park

U.S. Park Police officials said they are seeking a suspect in the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl at a park in Northeast Washington.

The attack occurred at 11:30 p.m. Saturday at River Terrace Park, near Anacostia Avenue and East Capitol Street NE, police said. The man was described as 24 or 25 years old, about six feet tall, weighing 235 pounds and "having cornrows and a beer belly."

The suspect was seen driving a small, red, two-door car similar to a sport utility vehicle, police said. Officials said the man had offered the victim a ride several hours earlier in the 3400 block of Benning Road NE.

The Park Police asked anyone with information about the assault to contact its criminal investigations branch at 202-690-5050.

VIRGINIA

Teen Who 'Died' Gets Jail Time

A teenager who allegedly faked his death in July 1997 to avoid going to jail for robbery was sentenced yesterday in Gloucester to seven years in prison.

That is more than twice the time Sage Weakland would have spent in a youthful offender program under a plea agreement reached after his conviction.

After the 16-year-old disappeared during a boating accident the night before he originally was to be sentenced, his family maintained that he had died. But FBI agents arrested Weakland nearly two years later, on July 14, in Las Vegas, acting on a tip from a friend who testified that Weakland's father helped the teenager get there.

"I'm sorry for what I did," Weakland said in a barely audible voice to the judge during his rescheduled sentencing hearing.

Circuit Judge William Shaw sentenced Weakland, now 18, to 20 years in prison for robbery, with 13 years suspended. Shaw also gave Weakland a five-year suspended sentence for conspiracy.