A D.C. special police officer was charged with involuntary manslaughter on Wednesday for a hit-and-run accident that killed a pedestrian in April.
Chatara Sophia Johnson, a security guard licensed by the D.C. police department, admitted to hitting 68-year-old Faith Pines while speeding on Southern Avenue SE, according to a court document.
The charging document said that Johnson initially called police to say that the car involved in the hit-and-run had been stolen from her. She later admitted that she had been the driver, and the car had not been stolen, it said.
Pines, who lived in Fort Washington, was leaving United Medical Center on Southern Avenue at about 8:40 p.m. on April 28 when she was hit by a tan Mercedes Benz. The Mercedes kept driving, witnesses told police. Pines died early the next morning of her injuries.
Police said the area where the car hit Pines was well-lit by streetlights.
About three hours later, Johnson, 26, called police. She said that she had been using a 1999 Mercedes owned by her brother-in-law, and someone had stolen it from a parking lot on the 800 block of Southern Avenue — the block where Johnson lives, five blocks from the crash. She told police that she had last seen the car at about 4 p.m.
When police told her that the car had been involved in a very serious crash, she said she knew nothing about it.
About two hours later, police found the car, parked and unoccupied, on the 1800 block of Benning Road NE, more than five miles from the site of the crash.
The following afternoon, Johnson’s brother-in-law, who owns the car, contacted police to say that Johnson had been driving it the night before and had hit a pedestrian.
Johnson subsequently confessed to hitting Pines and then driving to a friend’s house, the charging document said. The friend suggested that Johnson claim her car had been stolen.
Johnson was a security guard at the building where she lives, the court document said. After a long day at work, she said, she was driving about 50 to 55 miles per hour in a 30 mile-per-hour zone. She tried to brake when she saw Pines crossing the street but couldn’t avoid hitting her.