A Nov. 2 Metro in Brief item gave the wrong day for a community meeting to discuss redevelopment of the old Washington Convention Center site downtown. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G St. NW. (Published 11/3/2005)


Excavation Sparks Fire at National Airport

Firefighters were working early today to extinguish a blaze in a parking lot at Reagan National Airport after construction workers struck an underground natural gas line, authorities said.

No cars were damaged and no flights were affected, said Tara Hamilton, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Hamilton said construction workers were doing excavation work about 10:50 p.m. when they struck the gas line in an economy parking lot at the south end of the airport.

Shortly before 1 a.m., firefighters had nearly extinguished the blaze, authorities said.


Silver Spring Man Arrested in Slaying

Montgomery County police arrested a 23-year-old man in the slaying of a man found Monday outside a Silver Spring church.

Tomas Gonzalez of the 15300 block of Baileys Lane in Silver Spring was charged with second-degree murder in connection with the body found outside Canaan Christian Church, police said.

Lt. Eric Burnett, a police spokesman, said officers encountered Gonzalez about 1:40 a.m. Monday when they responded to a call about an intoxicated man near Amherst Avenue and University Boulevard West. Gonzalez told the officers that he had been involved in a fight, Burnett said.

That night, the officers learned of a likely homicide near the area where they met Gonzalez and notified detectives.

Police said detectives found Gonzalez on Monday night and arrested him.

Police are trying to identify the victim, whom Burnett described as an Asian man in his early thirties. He was about 5 feet 7, weighed 145 pounds, had a small surgical scar on the left side of his stomach and was wearing blue jeans, black sneakers and a gray sweatshirt when he died.

Two Students Charged in Bomb Threat

Two teenage girls were arrested Monday for threatening to bomb Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg so they could get out of class, authorities said yesterday.

It was the first arrest after five bomb threats at the school campus in the past 10 days. Police and school officials said they don't believe the girls, a 16-year-old Gaithersburg girl and a 15-year-old Bethesda girl, are connected to the other incidents.

Principal Dan Shea said that the school revamped its security policies after staff members began finding scrawled threats on bathroom walls about Oct. 19.

"Never have I had five [threats] in 10 days," he said.

Just after noon Monday, two students allegedly wrote and placed a note near a bathroom containing a threat to bomb the campus Nov. 2. Another student found the note and gave it to the school's safety team. Officer Derek Baliles of Montgomery County police said that the note was a prank and that the girls did not have materials to assemble a bomb.

The two students have been charged with making a false threat about a destructive device, threatening to explode a destructive device and disrupting the operation of a school. The girls' names are not being released because they are juveniles.


Missing Persons Guidelines Proposed

A bill designed to improve the way D.C. police respond to missing persons reports was introduced yesterday by the D.C. Council.

The legislation, sponsored by council member Kathy Patterson (D-Ward 3) and Chairman Linda W. Cropp (D-At Large), would require police to obtain fingerprints, dental records and photographs of people missing for more than 30 days. Police would submit the information to be included in federal databases, including the FBI's Violent Criminal Apprehension Program.

The bill also has a provision for the collection of DNA samples from relatives to be included in another FBI database. If a missing person is in a high-risk category, such as those who need medication or are mentally impaired, police would be required to immediately submit information and DNA samples to federal authorities.

Meeting on Convention Center's Future

Officials from the D.C. government and the development team chosen to manage redevelopment of the site of the old Washington Convention Center will host a public meeting tonight to discuss what housing, offices, retail and amenities could be built there.

The workshop will be from 6 to 9 p.m. in the main lobby of the Martin Luther King Jr. Library, 901 G St. NW. Preliminary proposals include a new flagship library and performing arts center.

Man Found Shot in Burning Vehicle

A 40-year-old man was discovered fatally shot and doused with gasoline inside a burning sport-utility vehicle in Northeast Washington early yesterday, D.C. police said.

Firefighters found the body when they responded to a call about a burning GMC Yukon about 5:50 a.m. in the 1200 block of 19th Street NE. They put out a small fire on the front seat of the Yukon and then discovered the victim in the back seat, police said.

The man had been shot several times. Police declined to identify the victim pending the notification of relatives.

Police urged anyone with information to call detectives 202-727-9099.


Attacker Thwarted in Tysons Restroom

A woman who was being assaulted in an office building restroom in Tysons Corner was rescued by several people who heard her screams, interrupted the attack and held the suspect until police arrived, Fairfax County police said yesterday.

The incident occurred about 12:20 p.m. Monday in the 8200 block of Goldsboro Drive. A 23-year-old Franconia woman told police that as she was leaving a stall, a man was leaning against the locked bathroom door.

Police said the man assaulted her, climbed on top of her and tried to take her pants off. She screamed for help, and a person unlocked the bathroom door but was also assaulted, police said.

Several men later kicked the bathroom door open and freed the woman and captured the man, police said.

Police charged Benyamen A. Marshall, 27, with abduction with intent to defile. The woman suffered minor injuries.

"People never have to wonder where I'm going to stand on an issue. I pretty much stick. I'm very predictable. I think people find comfort in that type of leadership."

-- Jerry W. Kilgore, Republican candidate for governor of Virginia. -- A1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Tom Jackman, Allan Lengel, Del Quentin Wilber, Jacqueline L. Salmon, Debbi Wilgoren, Ernesto Londono and Lori Aratani.