Officer Cleared in Cameraman's Injury

A Greenbelt police officer was acquitted in Prince George's County Circuit Court on Thursday of second-degree assault in connection with a June 1998 incident in which a WRC-TV (Channel 4) cameraman suffered a broken collarbone while covering a disturbance during a middle school graduation.

Officer John Rogers, a 10-year veteran, was acquitted by Circuit Court Judge Joseph S. Casula, said James N. Papirmeister, Rogers's attorney. Rogers had been charged with assaulting James Robert Kizer on June 15, 1998, as Kizer covered a disturbance at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, the site of that year's graduation ceremony for Greenbelt Middle School. The auditorium was overcrowded, and parents and others were jostling to get inside, according to court records and testimony.

According to court testimony, Kizer did not respond to four requests from a county sheriff's deputy to move away from an auditorium entrance, Papirmeister said. Rogers testified that he put his hand on Kizer's left arm to get his attention, at which point Kizer jerked around, lost his balance and fell, with the officer falling on top of him, Papirmeister said.

An internal investigation by Greenbelt police previously had cleared the officer of wrongdoing, Papirmeister said.

Psychologist Seeks to Move Trial

A psychologist accused of helping an armed robber and a murderer escape from prison has asked that her case be moved out of Anne Arundel County because of pretrial publicity.

Elizabeth Feil's attorney, Isaiah Dixon III, of Towson, included in his request 42 newspaper and Internet articles about the love affair she allegedly had with inmate Bryon Lester Smoot, 38, of Baltimore, and his May prison break with another inmate.

Feil faces two felony charges of being an accessory after the fact and two counts of harboring a fugitive.


Man Charged With Murder in Shooting

Police said they are looking for a 20-year-old man charged in a warrant in the killing of Thomas Long, 48, who was found fatally shot Aug. 10 in the unit block of Q Street NW, where he lived.

Police said Calvin Jeffery Reid is charged in the warrant with first-degree murder while armed. They said his last known address was in the unit block of Florida Avenue NW.

Police described Reid as a black man with medium complexion and a "distinguishing small bump on his forehead." Reid is 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds and is "considered armed and dangerous," police said. Police asked anyone who knows where Reid is to contact 3rd District detectives at 202-673-6914.


Prison, Fine Imposed in Pollution Case

A 58-year-old Richmond man was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison and fined $1.3 million on charges connected with the dumping of untreated petroleum-related waste into Richmond's sewer system.

James Ming Hong was convicted in April in U.S. District Court in Richmond following a three-day trial on 13 charges of violating the federal Clean Water Act.

Hong was the owner of Avion Environmental Group Inc., a business that stored and treated waste water contaminated with oil and other petroleum products. According to investigators, Avion employees, working under Hong from April 1996 through December 1996, periodically bypassed the company's filter system and discharged untreated waste water directly into the sewer system.

Throughout that time, investigators said, Hong knew that Avion's treatment system was inoperable and continued to operate the company, while pressuring his employees to increase revenue.