Two Montgomery County police officers on Monday morning drove home a drunk and bloodstained man who told them that he had just committed a homicide, police say.
When they dropped him off at his Silver Spring apartment, officers Ijeoma Enendu and Jason Keith did not get the man's name.
But when homicide detectives found a body outside a Silver Spring church later in the day, the odd run-in with Tomas Gonzalez started to make sense to the patrol officers, according to a statement of probable cause filed to arrest him more than 24 hours after he was taken home. Gonzalez has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Dung Tri Dao, 43, of Silver Spring, whose name was released yesterday by police.
Enendu told homicide detectives that she ran into Gonzalez about 1:40 a.m. Monday after responding to a report of a stabbing at Amherst Avenue and University Boulevard West.
Officers determined that Gonzalez, 23, had been involved in a bar brawl and offered to drive him home. According to the charging document, Gonzalez told Enendu: "There is a dead body in the woods. I killed somebody. I hit the guy with a rock. We had a fight."
Officers noted that "the subject had blood on his hands, face and arms along with his clothing," according to the charging document.
When officers asked him where the body was, "the subject froze up and said he didn't know or remember any such event," the charging document said.
On Monday night, Enendu returned to Gonzalez's apartment with homicide detectives to identify him. Gonzalez told detectives, with the assistance of a Spanish-speaking officer, that he got into a fight with "a Chinese man" after leaving a bar, police said. Gonzalez told officers that the man cut him with a knife, so Gonzalez "got a rock . . . and hit the Chinese man on the head," the charging document said.
Gonzalez then went to a gas station, where an attendant called police, the charging document said.
Lt. Eric Burnett, a police spokesman, declined to say whether the patrol officers acted according to policy. "We're not going to comment on what they should have done," Burnett said. "They were able to determine where the man lived, and that's why he was arrested."