Flight Boarding at National Is Evacuated

A Chicago-bound flight from Reagan National Airport was evacuated Saturday after suspicious behavior by a passenger, officials said yesterday.

Passengers were boarding United Airlines Flight 627 before 6 p.m. when a Middle Eastern man abruptly got off the plane, airport and U.S. Transportation Security Administration officials said.

The Airbus A320 and the airport concourse were evacuated, and all passengers were re-screened, said Amy Von Walter, a TSA spokeswoman.

The passenger was found but could not be questioned immediately because he did not speak English, Von Walter said.

He was turned over to the FBI, which questioned and released him after 10 p.m., said Debbie Weierman, Washington field office spokeswoman. Weierman said the man had decided to change his flight plans for personal reasons.

The plane, carrying 74 passengers, took off more than two hours late and landed safely in Chicago, an airline spokesman said.


Southeast Shooting Wounds Three Teens

Three teenagers were shot late last night in Southeast Washington in a drive-by shooting that may have stemmed from a dispute at a party earlier in the evening, D.C. police said. None of the injuries was believed to be life-threatening.

The wounded teens -- two 14-year-old girls and a 15-year-old boy -- were standing at a gas station in the 3900 block of Martin Luther King Avenue SE around 11:15 p.m. when at least one person inside a car opened fire, police said. The car then drove off.

One girl was shot near the ankle, and the other was struck in the thigh and foot, police said. The boy was shot in the buttocks. All were treated at Children's Hospital.

As of early this morning, police said they had no one in custody in the shooting.


Woman Killed in 3-Car Crash in Cheverly

Maryland State Police are investigating a three-car collision in Cheverly that left a woman dead and one man in critical condition Saturday night.

Police said Reida Elaine Edmonson-Sarvis was pronounced dead at Prince George's Hospital Center after the car she was riding in struck another vehicle head on. Edmonson-Sarvis's age and residence were unavailable.

The driver, William Sarvis, 76, of Shady Side, was in critical condition at Washington Hospital Center in the District yesterday, hospital officials said.

According to police, Sarvis was traveling the wrong way in the westbound lanes of Route 50 near Route 201 in Prince George's County when his vehicle sideswiped a 2003 Nissan Xterra driven by Sonia Dolinger, 30, of Annapolis. Sarvis then hit a Nissan Altima, driven by Chaka Smith, 28, of Jacksonville, N.C.

Smith was in stable condition at Washington Hospital Center yesterday. A 7-year-old boy, a passenger in Dolinger's car, was treated at Children's Hospital.

Autopsy Indicates Mistreatment of Inmate

An autopsy report on a Nigerian prisoner who died at Western Correctional Institution mirrors the accounts of inmate witnesses who said he was wetted with pepper spray, had a mask placed over his face and was carted away in a wheelchair from his cell unconscious.

The report detailed the events that unfolded in the death of Ifeanyi A. Iko in April. Iko's relatives provided the Baltimore Sun with a copy last week.

According to the newspaper, the report says Iko, 51, died of asphyxia "caused by chemical irritation of the airways by pepper spray, facial mask placement" and the manner in which he was restrained.

Iko was forcibly removed from a cell in the segregation unit at the Western Maryland prison in Allegany County, where problem inmates are confined. He had refused to leave voluntarily to be taken to another part of the prison for psychological evaluation.

In May, the state medical examiner's office ruled Iko's death a homicide but released no details. The state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services dismissed allegations that correctional officers acted improperly, citing its own investigation, which revealed no wrongdoing.


Crews Restoring Gas Service in Haymarket

Washington Gas crews began restoring service to hundreds of residential and commercial customers in Haymarket yesterday as repairs were completed to a ruptured natural gas line that supplies 3,000 homes and businesses, a company spokesman said.

Utility spokesman Tim Sargeant said that service to 600 customers had been restored by last night and that the company hoped to restore service to everyone by tomorrow.

The pipe was severely damaged Saturday by a private contractor digging in the 6700 block of Leaberry Boulevard, Sargeant said.

Yesterday afternoon, company workers began visiting homes and businesses south of the excavation site to turn on service at each location and relight pilot lights.

Service cannot be restored unless customers are present to admit Washington Gas workers, Sargeant said. He said residents and business owners not present will find written instructions to call the gas company to make an appointment for resumption of service.

Two Jail Guards Held Hostage, Rescued

Two guards who were held hostage by four inmates at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional Jail were rescued, one of them by other inmates, as police negotiated for more than four hours to end the standoff.

The officers, ages 25 and 70, suffered bruises and contusions in the clash with the hostage-takers early Saturday. The officers' names were not released.

Four inmates have been charged with a variety of offenses, including attempting to escape, abduction and felonious assault.

The younger guard was treated and released from the University of Virginia Medical Center, where the older officer was being kept for observation, said Col. Ronald Matthews, jail superintendent.

"If these groups were not good, we wouldn't have to put so much effort into taking them down. It's very similar to a drug gang, the way they operate. These organized fencing operations know their market."

-- Detective David Swinson, who leads the D.C. police initiative

against fencing rings. -- Page A1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Allan Lengel, Ovetta Wiggins, Avram Goldstein and Martin Weil and the Associated Press.