Hyattsville Homicide Probed

A Hyattsville man died late Thursday after an altercation, and Prince George's County police said last night that they are investigating the death as a homicide.

Julio C. Reyes, 27, of the 3400 block of Shepherd Street was in an altercation a few minutes before midnight in the 3000 block of Gumwood Drive in Hyattsville, police said. During the confrontation, Reyes fell to the ground and the other person fled, police said.

No cause of death was immediately available, but police said that, based on preliminary investigation, the death was considered a homicide because of the circumstance.

It was the county's 76th homicide this year.

Wage Inspectors to Remain

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) has reversed a decision to close the state's Prevailing Wage Office following the discovery of a 1997 law that requires the office to employ at least five inspectors.

Chip DiPaula Jr., Ehrlich's chief of staff, told the Baltimore Sun that the administration hadn't been aware of the law, which doesn't appear in state code books. But he said the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation will adjust its budget to maintain the inspectors.

Union leaders said Ehrlich has conducted a backdoor effort to abolish the prevailing wage by eliminating enforcement.

Motorcyclist Dies in Howard

A motorcyclist was killed after colliding with a car yesterday on Route 32 in Howard County, officials said.

The driver of the motorcycle, whom police did not identify, collided with the car about 2 p.m., according to Fire and Emergency Medical Services spokesman William Mould. The accident happened at Linden Church Road in Clarksville, Mould said. The driver was taken to Howard County General Hospital, then pronounced dead, officials said.

Arrest in Attack on Candidate

Baltimore police have arrested the man accused of stabbing and beating U.S. Senate candidate A. Robert Kaufman.

Police charged Leon Davis, 42, with attempted first-degree murder. Davis was taken into custody early yesterday at a drug treatment facility in west Baltimore. Kaufman, 74, had identified Davis, who is one of several tenants in his home, as his attacker. Kaufman was clubbed on the head with a crowbar and stabbed in the neck. He was released from Maryland Shock Trauma Center on Thursday, three days after the attack.

Kaufman, a longtime social activist who has run several times for Congress, governor and mayor of Baltimore, is one of three Democrats vying to replace the retiring Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes (D-Md.).

Fatal Shooting Victim Identified

The man fatally shot Friday night while driving a car in the Fort Washington area of Prince George's County was identified yesterday by police as James Williams Jr., 59, of Fort Washington.

Cpl. Clinton Copeland said police know of no suspect or motive in the slaying of Williams, who died after being taken to a hospital. Police found Williams, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, in a car in the 800 block of East Tantallon Drive about 8:30 p.m. His car had crashed into a tree.


Taxi Surcharge Approved

The Arlington County Board has approved a 50-cent temporary surcharge per taxi trip to help offset the rising cost of fuel, which cab companies say has been eating away at profits. The surcharge will be in effect for 60 days.

The District recently tacked on a $1 surcharge, which will be reevaluated in August. Some taxi drivers have said the extra fee has meant smaller tips and more aggravated customers.


Helicopter Crash Investigated

National Transportation Safety Board investigators said it was far too early to speculate on what caused the crash of the Delaware-based MBNA Corp. helicopter into the East River in Manhattan on Friday. The pilot was critically injured.

The crash of the helicopter carrying two pilots and six businessmen was the second time last week that a helicopter plunged into the East River, both within seconds of takeoff. A total of 14 people, including the MBNA executives, survived the crashes Tuesday and Friday.

In Friday's crash, the condition of the pilot, identified as Mark Schaberg, 56, was upgraded to critical but stable at Bellevue Hospital yesterday morning, said hospital administrator Peter Schectman.

"I make myself available to them because they have no one else. I'm the father, the mother, the uncle, the aunt, the counselor -- I'm everybody."

-- Robert Allen, sixth-grade teacher at Magnolia Elementary School in Lanham, speaking about his role in his students' lives. His son, Sean, is a high school art teacher in Capitol Heights. -- C1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Allison Klein, Allan Lengel, Martin Weil and Caryle Murphy and the Associated Press.