MARYLAND

Man Accused in Abduction Seeks Custody

A Delaware man who police say abducted his 4-year-old son from Montgomery County in January filed a petition for custody of the boy yesterday, the man's attorney said.

The father, Cory Wharton, is named in an arrest warrant in Montgomery on charges of abduction and assault, police said. Wharton's attorney, Howard Miliman, said yesterday that he believes the state inappropriately granted custody of the boy, Matthew Burns of Gaithersburg, to the boy's mother, Jennifer A. Burns, last year. Burns died in May in what has been preliminarily ruled a suicide.

The boy's paternal grandmother, Cynthia Sargent, 45, is being held without bond in Pinellas County, Fla., pending extradition to Maryland, where she faces a kidnapping charge. Police allege she and Wharton took Matthew illegally on Jan. 30. The boy was found Friday in Florida with Sargent.

Wharton, 28, was arrested in Delaware in February and released on bond, police said. He is wanted for failing to appear for a preliminary hearing, police said.

Sargent's stepdaughter, Pat Morgan, said Sargent took the boy because Burns had threatened to kill herself and the boy, and Sargent believed the child would die if he stayed with his mother.

Man Shot to Death After Car Accident

A Prince George's County man was shot to death late Monday in Temple Hills moments after he approached the driver of a vehicle that had struck his car, police said yesterday.

Police said Robert D. Jenkins, 22, walked toward an older model Toyota Camry that had stopped in the 5400 block of Holton Lane shortly after it rear-ended the 1996 Nissan Maxima in which Jenkins was riding. After Jenkins approached the driver, the driver allegedly produced a handgun and shot Jenkins in the upper body.

Jenkins was flown to a hospital in Baltimore, where he died.

Police said they had not identified a motive in the incident and were investigating whether a dispute might have precipitated the crash or the shooting. They said they did not know whether it was a case of road rage.

Police said they were searching for the driver and the four-door Camry, which they said witnesses described as light blue or silver with Maryland Chesapeake Bay license plates. They said the car likely has damage to the front driver's side. They urged anyone with information to call Crime Solvers at 800-673-2777.

SUV Strikes 3 Brothers, Killing One

A pregnant woman taking her shoes off her swollen feet drove a sport-utility vehicle onto a sidewalk in Ocean City on Sunday and hit three brothers, killing the youngest, police said yesterday.

The driver told officers she was taking off her shoes when she came upon a car that had stopped or slowed ahead of her. She said she couldn't find the brake and swerved to avoid striking the vehicle, police said.

Ryan Greene, 7, of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., was pronounced dead Sunday evening at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, Md., shortly after the crash, said Pfc. Jennifer Smith, a police spokeswoman. A hospital official said yesterday that Ryan's brothers, Richard W. Sauer, 9, and Todd J. Teter, 11, had been discharged. The parents, who were standing in front of the children, were not hit.

Police said the investigation of the crash is continuing, and no charges had been filed against the SUV's driver, identified as Ilana Gabey, 37, of West Ocean City.

THE DISTRICT

Third D.C. Police Commander to Retire

A D.C. police commander who was in charge of the department's anti-terror planning and often oversaw preparations for special events and protests said yesterday that he is retiring to become vice president of security for Amtrak.

Assistant Chief Alfred J. Broadbent, who has been with the department for 25 years, was in charge of the support services command, which oversees most of the force's detectives and specialized units. Broadbent said he will step down July 31.

Two other commanders also announced their retirements recently. Assistant Chief Ronald Monroe and Cmdr. Abraham Parks have informed officials that they plan to leave the force in coming months. Monroe leads the northern regional operations command, and Parks oversees the 7th Police District.

VIRGINIA

Loudoun Opposes W&OD Power Lines

Loudoun County supervisors voted 7 to 1 with one abstention yesterday to oppose a plan by Dominion Virginia Power Co. to string power lines along the Washington & Old Dominion Trail west of Leesburg.

Supervisors passed a resolution declaring that "the proposed transmission line will impinge on the natural setting of the trail with the loss of 26,000 trees" and said they were prepared to fight the "ill-advised route scheme" if power officials move ahead.

The supervisors called on Dominion to study burying its power lines in the county. A Dominion spokeswoman said the company must investigate the trail route because it has the right to put the power lines there, and she added that the company has not settled on a preferred route.

Burying power lines costs eight to 10 times what it costs to string lines aboveground, the spokeswoman said. Supervisor Eugene A. Delgaudio (R-Sterling) voted against the measure. Supervisor Stephen J. Snow (R-Dulles) abstained.

Humanities Foundation Awards Grants

The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities has awarded 27 grants totaling $224,250 to assist organizations researching Virginia history and issues of importance to the state.

Among the recipients were the George Washington Fredericksburg Foundation, which will get $3,000 to support a series of archaeology workshops for teachers and the public on the early life of the first president, and George Mason University, which will get $3,000 for a panel on the history of Brown v. Board of Education and $10,000 for an exhibit and symposium on the history of school desegregation in Buckingham County.

In Loudoun County, the public library will get $1,100 for a seminar commemorating the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, and the county's Heritage Farm Museum will get $10,000 for an exhibit on apple production. The Maury School PTA in Alexandria will get $2,500 for a "Teaching with Historic Places" lesson plan that will focus on schools central to the Brown case.

"It looks like I'm going through a maze. I'm going up and down and up and down, and then some steps come back up. I liked it the way it was before."

-- Naresh Rangwani, a frequent traveler, on maneuvering around construction at Dulles International Airport. -- Page B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Tom Jackman, Michael Laris, David Snyder and Del Quentin Wilber and the Associated Press.