The events of Friday night and Saturday morning were not out of the ordinary by the standards of the local police.
Officers from the 5th District searched in vain for a man they suspected of shooting a U.S. park policeman. A Northeast Washington gas station attendant gave chase to two robbers but stopped abruptly after they shot at him. There was a bomb threat at the club next to the Four Seasons Hotel and a street holdup on Alaska Avenue. Officers settled a dispute between the manager of a Georgetown bistro and two women who claimed they had been overcharged for their eggs Benedict and their avocado stuffed with crabmeat. A man and a woman were arrested in a raid on their Temple Hills home and charged with possession of the drug PCP.
There were fatal traffic accidents in Fairfax County and southern Prince George's and a nonfatal one in Wheaton. Plainclothes narcotics officers picked up eight suspects on drug charges on the Washington streets notorious for being open-air drug markets. Nineteen drunk drivers were snagged around town -- a high number, but not a record, not even for this early in the hard-drinking holiday season.
There were no homicides, but there was one fire and one reported rape. What happened under a full moon and a sky full of stars was considered an average course of events for an overnight on a weekend, typical for all but the people who were involved in them.
Park police detective Kenny Green still brooded yesterday afternoon over the night's single rape. The victim was so young -- 17 years old, from Virginia. She and her boyfriend had joined the usual Friday night celebrants who crowd Georgetown's trendy little restaurants and bars. But the couple became separated at about 1:30 a.m. The girl tried and couldn't find her boyfriend, and when a man in his 20s approached and offered to help, she got into his car. He picked up a friend, and the two men drove the girl to Grove 19 in Rock Creek Park, south of Military Road, where they raped her. She was able to run away, finally, and wandered through the woods until she reached a residential area, where a police car spotted her.
"I don't like cases like this," Green said. "It's depressing. It's just two weeks from Christmas, and to have something like this change your life. . . She's so young. She's a sweet kid. What happens when the next guy puts his arm around her?" The police have no suspects, according to Green.
It was a different call in Georgetown that brought four police officers to an M Street restaurant that charges $1.20 for tea and imports from France the chicken for its specialty, poulet bistro. Two young women, all dressed up for an evening out, were arguing with the manager over the bill for their 3 a.m. feast -- avocado stuffed with crabmeat, eggs Benedict and two teas. They claimed it couldn't have been more than $8. But the management tallied the bill at $15. "I know the best lawyer in town," one of the women, whose feet shone in gold high-heeled sandals, told a police officer, who looked bored. Her friend, a secretary in a silky sheer white blouse and dangling gold-leaf earrings, stood on the sidewalk and proclaimed, "Washington is ripoff city!" But she said they would pay the bill anyway.
Chicken, chitlins and greens, not poulet bistro, are the specialties at Moore's Love & Peace Restaurant and Lounge, a working-class hangout across town at 1509 Rhode Island Ave. NE, which was thrown into turmoil at about 1:35 a.m.
Police were told that a man inside the bar had reportedly boasted of being the person who shot and critically wounded U.S. Park Police officer Kelso David Wallace last Oct. 25. Wallace, now recovering from his injuries, had made a routine traffic stop that afternoon. A man inside the Datsun 280-Z that Wallace had pulled over shot the officer in the neck, stomach and head. He was later identified as David Fountain Kimberly Jr. of Tennessee.
Nothing attracts police attention like a report of the whereabouts of someone who has shot an officer of the law; within minutes, the street outside Moore's was full of police cars and the police airwaves were alive with chatter.
But when they went inside the officers found that the man, who apparently fit the description of the Wallace shooting suspect, was no longer there. Interviews of patrons and a search turned up nothing. Police held out hope for hours afterward that they might find the suspect in the area, and thus withheld all information about the incident. Finally they gave up.
There was nothing out of the ordinary about the armed robbery at Ward's Amoco station a few blocks closer to the heart of town at 400 Rhode Island Ave. NE, since the station had been robbed just a few weeks ago. Friday night, 23-year-old Warren Jackson was working at the station when two men approached and demanded money. Jackson gave them $70, police said, but then decided to chase the men as they fled. One of the robbers whirled and fired two wild shots, one breaking the service station's window. Jackson thought better of the chase, giving it up. He was not injured, and other employes expected him to show up for work as usual late yesterday.
Peewee Wooden, assistant manager of the station, was angry but almost resigned on the subject of the robbery. "They just came in here and held the station up," he said. "This is the second time it happened in the last couple of weeks. The last time, it was in the daytime, and they just came in."
Three miles northwest of the gas station, up 16th Street and into the settled, middle-class and integrated neighborhood of Shepherd Park, a 33-year-old man named George Wilson also fought back. He was in a parking lot behind an Alaska Avenue apartment building next door to the Alaska Animal Hospital when a husky, bearded man in a blue knit hat approached, brandishing a handgun.
"You know what I want," said the robber, according to police, as he snatched Wilson's wallet from his pants pocket. But Wilson was no easy mark. He knocked the man to the pavement, shouting, "Man, are you crazy?!" The robber slugged Wilson on the head with a bottle and this time took $85 in cash from his pants pocket. Wilson tried again to grab his assailant. The robber fired two shots, hitting Wilson in the stomach, and fled toward Alaska Avenue. Wilson was taken to Washington Hospital Center, treated and released at 6:42 a.m.
The five people who live in a three-story frame house on Old Baltimore Road in Olney in upper Montgomery County were lucky. Their alarm went off early yesterday when a fire broke out in a second-floor bedroom. The Sandy Springs Volunteer Fire Department arrived within moments, and by 5:28 a.m. the fire was under control. All the occupants ran out of the house except for one man, who climbed out of his third-story bedroom onto the roof. He went down a fire ladder. Damage was estimated at $13,000. The residents of the house went to stay with their next-door neighbor.
A few miles away there was a serious two-car accident in Wheaton. But police had no information to release yesterday. "Nobody works on Saturdays and Sundays," one said, explaining that records had not been logged in the department's computer system.
On a winding road in rural Brandywine in Prince George's, a 21-year-old Maryland man died in a car accident. Danny L. Murphy of Clinton had been traveling north in a 1970 Pontiac LeMans when he was struck head-on by a 1976 Dodge Charger driven by Robert Zimmerman, 20, of Cheltenham. Murphy was killed. Three passengers had been with him. All were hurt, one critically. Maryland State Police helicopters were dispatched to fly the injured to hospitals. Scores of Prince George's County firefighters and police responded. Some of the victims had to be cut out of the cars. And at 3:50 a.m., residents of nearby houses gathered by the road in their nightgowns and down coats to watch.
In Fairfax County, where Rte. 50 meets Covington Street, there was also a fatal traffic accident. One car, carrying two persons, was eastbound on Rte. 50. When the other, with five persons inside, pulled out of Covington, the two cars collided. One person, thrown from the car that pulled out of the side street, was killed. Three other persons were in serious condition yesterday, police said, while one was in fair condition and the other two had been treated and released. Police withheld the identity of the deceased until the next-of-kin were notified.
In the glow of the red police flares that marked the accident, John Grabill of Fairfax Towing Service swept the shattered bits of glass from the road with a big broom. He said he had just come from an accident that was even worse. "I've been doing this for 10 years, and after a while it's just two pieces of metal."
Everette Hewett, 19, was sitting in a car with two friends at about 3:30 a.m. The car was parked in the 4000 block of South Capitol Terrace, a tiny street in the far southern tip of Washington east of the Anacostia River. The police report on the rest of the incident went as follows:
In police parlance, "two juvenile males" approached. The youths, who had a handgun, apparently first demanded that Hewett turn over the car to them. But after an argument, in which Hewett told them that the car did not belong to him, they gave up that demand and instead ordered Hewett and his friends to turn over their coats and jackets, according to 7th District police.
Hewett got out of the car and scuffled with one of the youths. During the altercation shots were fired; Hewett was hit in the lower back and the knee.
His two friends ran and called police. One of the youths escaped; the other was captured, and authorities were trying to decide yesterday what charges would be filed against him. Hewett was taken to Greater Southeast Community Hospital, where he was reported in serious condition.
Plainclothes 3rd District police officers had a night that was busy, but by no means unusual, they said. They arrested two suspects in the 1100 block of V Street NW for possessing heroin. In the 1400 block of Chapin Street, notorious as an al fresco marijuana market, they arrested three suspects for marijuana posession (a fourth man on Chapin Street, they said, had no marijuana but did have a gun, for which he was arrested). At 11th and O streets NW, in the heart of another established drug-selling area, police arrested two men and charged them with possession of heroin.
And a uniformed officer responding to a report of a burglary at 1305 R St. NW picked up a suspect who was unfortunate enough to be carrying marijuana, police said -- making a total of eight arrests on drug charges during the course of the night.
Prince George's County police made a drug bust of their own, raiding a Temple Hills home and arresting a man and a woman for possession of the drug PCP. According to police, officers armed with a search warrant entered the house at 4907 Deer Park Dr. There, they said, they found a quantity of the drug that would have been worth about $550 on the street. John Gilbert Hogue Jr., 30, and Cathleen Patricia Kelly, 21, were charged with possession of PCP with intent to distribute the drug, and with maintaining a common nuisance. Both were jailed in lieu of $25,000 bond.
Police arrested 19 drunk drivers on the streets of Washington last night -- a high number, traffic officers said, especially this early in the hard-drinking holiday season.
Fire department ambulances were busy, rushing two heart attack victims to the hospital.
Nothing could disturb the costly serenity of the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown, not even a bomb scare. At 1 a.m. an anonymous man telephoned police to say that a bomb would go off in 15 minutes in a nightclub next to the hotel. Police searched the area and found nothing. The appointed time, 1:15 a.m., came and went, and there was no bomb, just a couple of women in fur coats strolling through the lobby of the Four Seasons, past the Christmas tree, out the glass doors and into a white Mercedes-Benz.
And at 2 a.m. a 1981 Toyota Corolla fell into the water at Buzzard Point. It was shallow, and John McGinnis, 27, of Falls Church was plucked from the water unharmed. He told police he was unfamiliar with the area and hadn't noticed that the road had ended.
Also contributing to this story was Washington Post staff writer Joseph E. Bouchard, who works the overnight shift keeping track of what is going on while most of metropolitan Washington is sleeping.