THE DISTRICT

Shot Grazes Police Officer in NW

A District police officer was grazed by a bullet early yesterday when a man stopped to ask for directions, then fired a gun at her and fled, police said.

Tajuana L. Cabell, 26, was in her patrol car parked in the 3100 block of Hiatt Place NW, outside Bell Multicultural High School, about 4:15 a.m.

She was working on the mobile computer in her car when a man approached her, Assistant Deputy Chief Terrance W. Gainer said.

Cabell, a five-year member of the department, told police that the suspect asked her for directions.

But because of his thick, Caribbean accent and the blue scarf wrapped around his mouth, she couldn't understand him, so she reached for a piece of paper to let him put his request in writing, Gainer said.

The man then pulled a gun from his sleeve and fired at Cabell, grazing her left arm, Gainer said.

The officer hunkered down in her patrol car to use the door as a barricade while she reached for her weapon.

Before she could fire at him, the gunman squeezed off three more shots, missing the car twice and hitting its fender once, Gainer said.

Cabell returned fire, but investigators were unsure whether she hit the fleeing suspect. She was treated at Washington Hospital Center.

Cabby in Campus Shooting Turns Self In

The cabdriver wanted in the shooting of a Georgetown University employee after a traffic accident last week turned himself in yesterday, D.C. police said.

Benjamin Alcindore, 42, went to the 2nd District station with an attorney from the public defender's office after he learned there was a warrant out for his arrest, police said. He is expected to be arraigned today in D.C. Superior Court.

Alcindore, who lives in the 2000 block of Somerset Street in Hyattsville, had been sought on one count of aggravated assault while armed after Wednesday morning's rush-hour scuffle, police said.

Cmdr. Shannon Cockett, of the 2nd District, said the shooting, which occurred about 8:20 a.m., stemmed from a fender-bender between Alcindore's cab and a sport utility vehicle driven by Kenneth "Skip" Ames. The two drivers exchanged angry words, then Alcindore pulled out a handgun, shot Ames and fled, Cockett said.

Ames, 44, a supervisor at the university's Information Services office, was in critical condition yesterday, officials said. He had been shot at least three times in the chest and abdomen in the incident, which occurred in front of the Leavey Center parking garage near Tondorf Drive.

Ames underwent a second round of surgery Friday, but his condition has not improved, university officials said.

VIRGINIA

Men Sought in Fairfax Restaurant Attack

Fairfax County police are looking for two men who entered a McLean chicken restaurant Sunday night and stole cash after beating an employee repeatedly with baseball bats.

The two men, wearing ski masks, entered the Chicken Out in the 1400 block of Chain Bridge Road through a back door about 9:40 p.m. as the restaurant was closing, police said. The men, thought to be in their twenties, attacked a 23-year-old employee in the office counting cash, then ran off with the money after their victim fled.

Police said that other employees in the restaurant did not see the men. The victim was treated for minor injuries at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

MARYLAND

Man Charged in Theft of Goggles

A 34-year-old Upper Marlboro man was arrested last week on charges of stealing eight pairs of night-vision goggles from the Maryland National Guard Armory in Olney, police said.

Howard V. Gorham, of the 3100 block of Altair Lane, was arrested Thursday after police charged him with eight counts of felony theft.

Gorham, a part-time reservist with more than five years of service, was assigned to the armory's supply room as a sergeant with the Maryland National Guard. Police believe he stole the goggles, valued at $4,000 each, to sell them, said Pete Piringer, a Maryland State Police spokesman.

Officials at the Col. Henry A. Cole Armory, in the 5100 block of Riggs Road, noticed the goggles missing after a supervisor tried to transfer equipment and found the boxes empty, police said.

Six pairs of the goggles have been recovered from local pawn shops, and two more were recovered from people who bought them from Gorham, police said.

FedEx Worker Faces Fewer Charges

Sexual touching charges against a former manager in Federal Express's Gaithersburg office were dropped yesterday after Montgomery County prosecutors said they did not have enough evidence to prove the charges in court.

Ronald Epps, 42, of the 18000 block of Tree Branch Terrace in Germantown, still faces a lawsuit filed by five women who allege that Epps sexually assaulted, stalked or threatened them while they worked for him at Federal Express since 1997. The air-delivery company, which the women allege did nothing to stop Epps, also is named in the $17 million sexual harassment suit filed in August.

Three of the women who filed the lawsuit also pursued criminal charges against Epps, but four charges -- one count of indecent exposure and three counts of fourth-degree sex offense -- were dropped yesterday, said Peter Fayne, Epps's attorney.

Assistant State's Attorney John McLane said the one-year statute of limitations ran out on some charges, and prosecutors had insufficient evidence on others. Three similar charges against Epps are expected to be dropped later this week for the same reasons, McLane said.

Man Charged With Rape, Sodomy

A 23-year-old man was charged with the rape and forcible sodomy of a 29-year-old woman at a Reston home where both were guests over the Christmas weekend.

The victim, described as mentally disabled, lives in a group home in Prince George's County and was spending the holiday weekend with her aunt in Reston, Fairfax County police said. Police said Joseph J. Wilson, of no fixed address, and his fiancee also were guests at the woman's home.

Police said Wilson was charged with two counts of rape and one count of forcible sodomy after he was found sexually assaulting the victim Sunday morning.

Police said Wilson also had assaulted the woman on Christmas Day. He was being held in the Fairfax jail yesterday without bond.