A man who was found naked on a fire truck was high at the time and now faces an attempted murder charge for shooting his childhood friend.
Prince George’s County police arrested Mohamed Sulaiman Bah, 24, of Silver Spring, and charged him with shooting a man in a car parked in the 11900 block of Beltsville Drive. He also faces a charge of first-degree assault.
Police found the injured man, whose name has not been released, about 6 p.m. Wednesday, after officers were called to Beltsville Drive for a report of a car accident. The injured man was in the backseat of the car suffering from a gun shot wound.
He remained in the hospital in critical condition Thursday, police said.
Police have no motive for the shooting and say the victim was Bah’s childhood friend. They were in the car with a third man, who was driving, when Bah turned to the back seat, shot his friend, then stripped naked, and ran from the scene, police said.
Police soon found Bah at the Calverton Shopping Center, which is just a block or two away on Beltsville Drive. He had removed his clothes and climbed onto a fire truck.
A video posted on YouTube shows a man walking on the top of the ladder truck, shouting threats. He also allegedly performed “lewd acts.”
Bah initially refused to come down off the truck. When he did climb down, a Prince George’s officer shot him with a Taser stun gun to subdue Bah, police said.
The officer used the Taser because Bah refused to comply with police commands and because of his erractic behavior, which led police to believe he was high on drugs. They called it a textbook case on how and when to properly use a stun gun.
Police said Bah exhibited classic characteristics of someone who is high on PCP at the time of his arrest.
Officers recovered the gun used in the Beltsville Road shooting near the car. The driver of the car was not injured and is not considered a suspect, police said.
The crew from PGFD Truck 831 eneded up with something that wasn’t on their grocery list when they made a stop for food Wednesday at a store in Calverton, Maryland. They found a naked man on the tip of the aerial ladder. Working with PGPD, firefighters maneuvered the ladder and eventually the man came down for a meeting with the police officers. It ended with a tasing. Video above by crotti2009.
According to PGFD, the person shouted threats and performed lewd acts to himself while climbing on the ladder bed. The man was taken to an area hospital after he was tased.
Prince George’s County Police report a 23-year-old officer was killed this afternoon and a second officer injured after the two spotted theft suspects in the Laurel area. The officer has not been identified. Police report he was the driver of the police cruiser and was ejected from the vehicle.
A 23-year-old Prince George’s County Police officer was killed and another was injured when their cruiser crashed on I-95 while pursuing a suspect, officials said Monday.
The officer, who has yet to be identified, died when he was ejected from his cruiser after leaving southbound I-95 and crashing into a ditch near the interchange with Powder Mill Road.
Prince George’s County Police Chief Mark Magaw said that both officers were investigating a theft in the Laurel area when they caught sight of a silver Acura driven by who they identified as as a suspect.
At some point during the pursuit, Magaw says that their cruiser left the roadway and crashed.
The officer who died, who was driving the cruiser at the time, was a 2 1/2-year veteran of the force and had spent time at in the 6th District in Prince George’s County since he was “15 or 16 years old.”
The second officer, who has been with the force for about a year, remains hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries, Magaw said.
“The community will wrap its arms around these officers and their families to get through this,” County Executive Rushern Baker said.
A lookout is ongoing for the silver Acura with temporary tags that was involved in the pursuit and eventual crash. Magaw was unable to provide a tag number for the suspect car.
Magaw did say that the officers followed protocol during the incident and that he’s “very proud” of their work.
“It shows the courage and dedication of these officers,” Magaw said.
The officer who died served in Prince George’s County’s 6th district, which serves the City of Laurel and northeastern portion of the county. Magaw said the fallen officer had participated in the department’s Explorer program in his teenage years at the same station.
Firefighters from Beltsville and surrounding stations were alerted to a house fire in the 4100 block of Ulster Road this morning just before 10:00 am.
Fire/EMS units arrived within minutes and encountered heavy fire coming from the 2-story single family home with an attached garage. A precautionary 2nd Alarm was sounded as fire consumed the garage and had extended into the second floor and roof area.
As firefighters were advancing hose lines and searching for any occupants inside the home, a roof collapse appeared imminent and all personnel were ordered to evacuate the structure. All firefighters self evacuated safely and the firefight continued from the safety of the exterior. Once the bulk of the fire had been knocked down, firefighters re-entered the structure to complete searches and extinguish the remainder of the fire. With the exception of a family pet dog, no one was home when firefighters arrived.
It required about 40 minutes to extinguish the bulk of the fire. There were 60 firefighter/medics, command officers and support personnel that operated on the scene of this incident.
The cause of the fire is under investigation and estimated fire loss is still being tabulated. An adult male neighbor sustained minor lacerations to his arm when he broke the window out of a rear door to allow a dog to escape from the burning home. The dog, “Spencer,” a nearly 12 year old male, was soon reunited with the homeowner and did not appear to have suffered any injury. Paramedics tended to the injured neighbor on the scene, however, did not go to the hospital. No other civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.
The well-known Kevin Kennedy family of Beltsville will be displaced and are making their own arrangements for temporary housing.
Previous coverage of Saturday’s fires here and here
Yesterday evening, Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department Acting Chief Marc Bashoor sent an email to his department thanking the firefighters, EMTs, paramedics and support personnel for the hard work as they handled the large number of fires during the high winds over the week. Chief Bashoor wrote, in part:
Whether you were at the EOC with me, or on any of the dozen or more incident scenes, or providing staffing at a firehouse or perimeter post, or providing care and comfort for our people; whether you are a command officer, police officer, firefighter, EMT, paramedic, dispatcher, civilian, administrative, paid or volunteer: THANK YOU for a job well done.
Besides the thanks, Chief Bashoor encourages “all company officers to immediately hold hot-wash after action reviews (AAR) with your crews” and writes that “the Department will schedule a series of officer level AAR’s in the coming week.”
You can click above to read the entire email. The beginning of the message is below and gives a brief rundown of the events:
The wind and fire events of the past 36 hours have been unprecedented and truly historic for the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department.
At the height of events, the PGFD had nearly 600 Fire/EMS personnel engaged in operational or support activities from one end of the County to the other, and everywhere in between.
This included nearly 90 mutual aide personnel from the District of Columbia, the Maryland Counties of; Queen Anne, Cecil, Carroll, Caroline, Washington, Charles, St Mary’s, Calvert, Anne Arundel, Howard, Montgomery, and Baltimore City, the Virginia jurisdictions of; Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax, along with private tankers from the state of West Virginia.
During this period nearly 900 calls for service were received by Public Safety Communications (PSC), with incoming equipment distributed to a Northern Area Command and a Southern Area Command for deployment.
As incident after incident overwhelmed available resources, and for the first time in recent memory, a full 1/3 of the career force was recalled to duty in three stages.
After a long day yesterday, Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department PIO Mark Brady started the day with a run down of the significant wind driven fires that provided the department with one of the busiest days in its history. Below is Brady’s press release and pictures:
The Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department experienced one of the busiest days in the Departments history due to high winds and dry conditions that resulted in hundreds of brush fires and structure fires. Numerous personnel have been operating at several “hot spots” overnight and into this morning. These locations include Chalk Point, Laurel and Piscataway. The fires are 90% contained and should be near extinguishment today. It is safe to say that Saturday, February 19, 2011, will be remembered as one of the busiest days in our history. The Fire/EMS Department recalled off-duty firefighters to report to work; the last time this was done was September 11, 2001. Fire/EMS Department Public Safety Communications handled 821 calls for service yesterday; a normal day average is about 350 calls. Firefighters were summoned from throughout the state and the District of Columbia to assist on incidents (a complete list of mutual aid jurisdictions is listed below). Of all the homes damaged during this wind/fire event, it is estimated that $1 million + in fire loss occurred. Another estimated $1 million + in fire loss occurred to commercial property.
Photo by PGFD’s Mark Brady showing Engine 841 in position at the Van Dusen Road fire. The crew eventually had to abandon this spot, bringing the rig to safety but losing hose. At the Chalk Point Road fire BR 836 was destroyed by the fire.
There were seven “significant” incidents that occurred yesterday:
…6 am – 8400 block of Potomac Avenue in College Park – House Fire & multiple outbuildings/Brush Fire. Family Helped by Citizens Services Unit. Event closed out at 9:30 am.
…9:30 am – Chalk Point Road, Baden – 60 Acre Brush Fire. 100 firefighters, 1 Brush Vehicle burned up in this event, 1 firefighter suffered from heat exhaustion, units operated throughout the night.
…10:59 am – 5400 block of Van Dusen Road, Beltsville/Laurel – 300 Acre Brush/Mulch Fire. 100+ firefighters, 90% contained, units operated throughout the overnight, potential for a multiple day event. Interstate 95 was closed for 4 hours due to smoke and adjacent land areas burning. Two firefighters suffered non-serious injuries during this event.
Mark Brady photo from Piscataway Road. We haven’t seen much in the way of video or pictures from this fire. It apparently did the most property damage and received the least amount of news coverage.
…11:42 am – 11900 through the 12200 block of Piscataway Road in Clinton – 250 Acre Brush/House Fire, 2 homes, 5 + outbuildings and 5 abandoned farm homes. One family assisted by Citizen Services Unit. 150 firefighters, 90% contained, units operated overnight and will continue today, potential multiple day event.
…1:06 pm – Queen Anne Road in Bowie- 15 Acre Brush Fire
…4:18 pm – 5100 block of Decatur Street, Bladensburg – 2 house fires, 2 families displaced, assisted by Citizens Services Unit
There are firefighters operating in Prince George’s County from all of our routine Mutual Aide Counties, including all of our contiguous jurisdictions, as well as through assistance coordinated by the County Emergency Operations Center and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, from:
- St Mary’s County MD
- Calvert County MD
- Charles County MD
- Anne Arundel County MD
- Montgomery County MD
- Baltimore City MD
- Arlington County VA
- Alexandria City VA
- Fairfax County VA
- Washington DC
- Washington County MD
- Carroll County MD
- Cecil County MD
- Caroline County MD
- Queen Anne County MD
- Natural Resources
Another Brady photo. From Piscataway Road and Windbrook Drive.
The Emergency Operations Center in Landover Hills, was activated and was staffed with personnel from County Police, Fire/EMS, Central Services, Public Works, Emergency Management, Red Cross, Public Safety Communications, Homeland Security, and the County Executives Office.
There will continue to be smoke and odors from all of these fires for days. Citizens should keep their windows closed, and if they are sensitive to smoke, avoid areas impacted by these events.
Some roadways may become blocked from time to time as hoselines are stretched across roads. We did not officially evacuate anyone, nor prohibit them from returning to their homes, however people were not able to physically drive to their homes. We did close the Ice House in Beltsville/Laurel, due to the hazardous smoke and travel conditions.
Interstate 95 was closed in both directions in Laurel for approximately 4 hours.
Since early this morning the area around your Nation’s Capital has been hit hard with winds, sparking numerous brush fires and threatening and burning some homes. Fires are still burning. We will add info to this entry over the next couple of hours. In the meantime you can listen live to some of the area departments.
The winds toppled the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse in Washington, DC.
Prince George’s County ordered the call back of career personnel to handle the numerous large fires. Two of the largest fires are at opposite ends of the county. One is in the Beltsville area along the 5400 block of Van Dusen Road. It forced the shut down of part of the adjacent I-95. Another fire still burning out of control along Piscataway Road. It has required mutual aid from Arlington County, Fairfax County and the City of Alexandria in Virginia. Maryland units are assisting PGFD from as far away as Baltimore City and Caroline and Queen Anne’s Counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore (about 65 miles)..
The fires moved so fast that a brush unit from Baden VFD was burned and a pumper from Belstville had to be quickly moved.
North of the Washington area, Baltimore County has been dealing with a number of multi-alarm building fires since last night, plus numerous brush fires today.
I-95 was also closed for a while in the Dale City area of Prince William County due to a fire near the rest stop. See the picture above.
The morning started in Prince George’s County with a hint as to what was to come with the fire above (video provided by Firefighter Close Calls) at 8400 Potomac Avenue in the College Park area. Here is info from PGFD’s Mark Brady:
Firefighters were alerted around 6:00 am, Saturday, February 19, 2011, to a house fire in the 8400 block of Potomac Avenue. Upon arrival firefighters were met with a challenging scene involving a 2-story wood frame home fully involved with fire, rapid wind driven extension to homes on either side, two sheds on fire in back yards and a natural gas fire on the exterior of one of the neighbors houses.
With high winds and rapid extension with additional structures in imminent danger; the Incident Commander requested a Second Alarm, bringing additional firefighters and resources to the scene.
It required nearly an hour for the bulk of the fire to be extinguished and another 2 hours to completely extinguish the fire in the house of origin. Firefighters kept the exterior natural gas fire in check and were able to extinguish that fire after Washington Gas Company workers shut off the natural gas main at about 8:30 am.
Late morning, at the far south end of Prince George’s County, a brush fire was reported near the Chalk Point Power Plant. I believe this is the fire that damaged Baden’s BR 36, a 1964 Ford.
Not too long after that, a fire that has required a lot of resources through the day was reported in the Beltsville area along the 5400 block of Van Dusen Road. This is the fire just west of I-95. It caused major traffic problems along the highway. The video above is some of the smoke from that fire that I shot while in the area this afternoon. Below are details from Brady released at 1:49 PM:
The largest incident involves about 100 acres of 30 foot high piles of mulch. The brush fire has extended about 2 miles over to Interstate 95. This fire has been burning since 12 noon and is still considered out of control.
In the video above a driver shows conditions on I-95 South near the Beltsville fire. The most interesting part is around 7:20 as Foam Unit 812 from College Park responds to a fire in the median strip of the highway.
Brady also announced a cancellation because of the fire. The event was to be hold where the initial staging area was located:
The Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department has been forced to require the cancellation of the charity ice hockey event at the Ice House on Old Gunpowder Road.
This event was a game between Washington Capitals Alumni and public safety officers.
Also on the north end PGFD had a fire at Laurel Mall (short clip above). Brady reports during the 2:00 PM hour, “firefighters arrived at the Burlington Coat Factory, 14700 Baltimore Avenue, with a fire that appears to have started in a dumpster outside the building. The high winds blew the fire into the loading docks and inside the building.”
The picture above, courtesy of Firefighter Close Calls, is from a fire on Decatur Street and shows what PGFD and other departments have been dealing with today.
The other major fire tapping the region’s resources is along Piscataway Road between Clinton and Fort Washington. That battle began when a battalion chief rolled up on a couple of old structures burning on Gallahan Road. Here is Brady’s report at 4:46 PM:
A brush fire that appears to have started at a farm on Gallahan Road spread quickly driven by high winds. The fire damaged as many as 20 structures that include homes (some abandoned), sheds and barns. This incident escalated quickly to a third alarm with about 30 pieces of fire apparatus on location with about 120 firefighters working to extinguish the fires.
Damage to occupied homes are minor to moderate. No civilian or firefighter injuries have been reported.
Command post is set up at Piscataway Road and Windbrook Drive.
Below are news reports from around the region on the fires and high winds from WJLA-TV:
The local news media is covering more problems for the Prince George’s County, Maryland government this morning. The FBI has picked up three police officers on drug and extortion charges. The Washington Post identified the three cops as Sgt. Rich Delabrer, Cpl. Chong Kim and Officer Sinisa Simic. The arrests also include the owners of local businesses.
News organizations, including The Washington Post, are reporting a connection to Friday’s arrests of Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson and his wife Leslie, but don’t have details on the link (latest from the Post at 12:51 PM). Here’s what’s known so far.
In two indictments unsealed Monday, a federal grand jury indicted three Prince George’s County Police officers, and six others, officials said in a news release. Prince George’s County police confirmed the three officers, two from Beltsville, were were picked up by federal agents Monday.
The two indictments, released Monday morning, include drug trafficking and firearms violations; forfeiture sought for $3.5 million, 25 properties, 13 vehicles and 84 bank accounts.
The charges are conspiracy to commit extortion and conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
There is no mention of County Executive Jack B. Johnson, and the charges may stem from the larger probe of corruption in Prince George’s County.
The charges stem from a scheme involving the transport and distribution of untaxed cigarettes and alcohol.
Earlier WUSA9.com and the Post reported a connection to Friday’s arrests. Here’s what the Post wrote on its blog:
Sources say the arrests are related to Friday’s arrest of Prince George’s County Executive Jack B. Johnson and his wife who each has been charged with witness tampering and destroying evidence.
From the AP:
FBI spokesman Richard Wolf described the arrests as part of an ongoing investigation in the county. He declined to confirm whether the arrests are related to last week’s arrest of Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson, who has been charged with witness and evidence tampering in a federal investigation of bribery involving a developer.
This is another one of those videos that caught my eye in recent days. It was December 22, 1985 when a tanker rolled over on I-95 in Beltsville, Maryland shutting down traffic. PGFD Chief Jim Estepp allowed me to get a close-up look at the decision making process when handling hazardous materials emergencies. The incident commander was Lt. Col. Steve Edwards (seen in the image above with Greg Noll, now of Hildebrand and Noll Associates). Edwards would later become chief of the department and is currenty the director of the Maryland Fire & Rescue Institute.
Just before 2:00 this afternoon Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department crews responded to Precision Cycle Works in Beltsville. According to PGFD Chief Spokesman Mark Brady, the first firefighters on the scene in the 11300 block of Old Baltimore Pike encountered heavy smoke conditions. Brady wrote in a press release there was “stored ammunition going off and automotive oils and chemicals exploding”. Brady said despite several attempts, conditions never allowed for an interior attack.
Read the smoke: Photo above and below from Beltsville fire by Billy McNeel.
For the second time in about 12 hours a second-alarm was sounded in the county. Master streams were used in an effort to keep the fire from spreading to adjoining warehouses.
Photo of Central Avenue crash by PGFD's Mark Brady. Click image for more.
Other firefighters in the county were busy with a serious car crash around 10:00 this morning on Central Avenue at Watkins Park Drive in Largo. According to Brady, “ The collision was so violent that one car was cut in half with the rear end of the vehicle coming to rest 30 yards away from the point of impact. The adult female driver of this vehicle was ejected and sustained critical, life threatening, injuries.”
The second vehicle wound up about 75 yards away and landed on its roof. An adult female driver with serious injuries had to be extricated from that vehicle.
A day earlier PGFD made the news when a firefighter from Kentland VFD revived a choking infant as the crew returned from a large brush fire. Click here to watch that story.