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Police ask for public’s help in identifying bank robbery suspect

  • Published in Crime

Montgomery County Police released photos of this suspect in multiple bank robberies throughout the County. COURTESY PHOTOSMontgomery County Police released photos of this suspect in multiple bank robberies throughout the County. COURTESY PHOTOSMontgomery County Police have released photos of a suspect in multiple bank robberies throughout the County, and are asking the public to help identify him.

According to police, the man is a suspect in two bank robberies and one attempted bank robbery in Montgomery County. The first took place on March 29, when the man entered a Capital One Bank in Wheaton, handed the teller a note and fled with cash, according to police.

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Man dies in collision on Georgia Avenue

  • Published in Local

Policelights 1Montgomery County Police are investigating a pedestrian collision after a car struck and killed a man Saturday night in Wheaton.

According to police, a man tried to cross Georgia Avenue, near where it merges with Veirs Mill Road in Wheaton, at around 11:30 p.m., Saturday, when a 2016 Nissan Rogue collided with him. The man, who has not been identified yet, was not in the pedestrian crosswalk when he was hit, and died on the scene, according to police.

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MCPS bus driver charged with second-degree rape

  • Published in Crime

080618 Kabongo Etienne 225x300Etienne K. Kabongo. COURTESY PHOTOMontgomery County Public Schools bus driver Etienne K. Kabongo has been charged with second-degree rape and other sexual abuse crimes for an incident that took place on a Montgomery County school bus.

According to Montgomery County Police, footage from a school-bus camera shows Kabongo, 62, of the 7800 block of Mineral Springs Drive in Gaithersburg – also known as “Mr. Steve” to students – sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl. Police said the incident took place on July 31, while Kabongo was transporting kids who receive special-education services.

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Leggett wants a meeting with Jealous before he’ll offer endorsement

  • Published in Local

IkeLeggettIke Leggett FILE PHOTOLike some of the state’s Democrats, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett has yet to give his endorsement in the gubernatorial race.

Usually in politics, politicians are quick to endorse fellow party members in general election campaigns, but some Democrats around the state have held back on an endorsement, including Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett.

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Hogan vows to step up efforts to halt human trafficking in Maryland

  • Published in State

Human Trafficking hands grabbing nettingHuman Trafficking hands grabbing nettingROCKVILLE – Calling Maryland a hotbed for human trafficking, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced several initiatives to combat the problem plaguing the state.

Hogan signed an executive order Thursday creating the new position of anti-human trafficking director, an appointed position to help combat the problem. In addition, Hogan announced new funding for a variety of programs to help research and develop solutions to human trafficking.

Finally, Hogan said he would support a bill, which legislators will introduce on the first day of the 2019 legislative session in January that will increase time served for some felony human traffickers.

Hogan said three regions in Maryland are hotspots for human trafficking: Baltimore, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County.

“The chilling reality is that Maryland’s central location and access to major highways and airports like I-95 and BWI make our state a hotbed for human trafficking,” Hogan said.

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Activists demand answers in cop shooting of Silver Spring man

  • Published in Local

YouTube screen capture of body-camera video released by Montgomery County Police of an officer providing backup to Officer Anand Badgujar during incident with Robert White. FILE PHOTOYouTube screen capture of body-camera video released by Montgomery County Police of an officer providing backup to Officer Anand Badgujar during incident with Robert White.          FILE PHOTO More than a week after police released the body-camera footage showing the June 11 police shooting of Robert White, activists have more questions about what happened.

While the State's Attorney for Howard County, who conducted the investigation of Montgomery County Police Officer Anand Badgujar, concluded that the shooting was “justified” and that he would not pursue criminal charges against the officer, activists are now questioning the events of June 11.

Laurel Hoa, an activist with Standing Up for Racial Justice, said the shooting could have been prevented if the officer had never approached White to begin with.

“I do not believe the shooting was justified; we do not believe Officer Badgujar should have approached Robert White in the first place,” Hoa said.

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Hogan makes his pitch to Montgomery County

  • Published in Local

BETHESDA — Gov. Larry Hogan (R) is not shy about his ambitions for 2018. 

He boasts about his high approval rating – 69 percent according to a Goucher Poll. He said he is confident that Amazon will place its new headquarters in the state, and he has declared he will do what no Republican gubernatorial candidate has done since 1990 – win Montgomery County.

“You know, a lot of people kind of laugh at that one, just liked they laugh at me saying I was going to be elected governor,” Hogan said about his declaration he will win Montgomery County in November’s election. “I think the people in Montgomery County – although I think it’s three to one, Democrat to Republican – I think they appreciate the job that we’ve done.”

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Elrich and Ficker begin fall campaign for County Exec

  • Published in Local

Elrich FickerMontgomery County executive candidates Marc Elrich (left) and Robin Ficker. FILE PHOTOSDemocratic and Republican nominees for Montgomery County Executive, as well as a potential independent candidate have begun campaigning for November’s General Election. 

Republican candidate Robin Ficker, an attorney and political activist from Boyds, has begun a social media push that takes aim at bringing awareness to something he calls the “Takoma Park Trapezoid.” 

Ficker, who was born in Takoma Park and grew up in Silver Spring, said that the southeastern portion of the County, which includes Takoma Park and Silver Spring has too much influence, citing that three of the four Democratic nominees for County Council atlarge are from either Takoma Park or Silver Spring. In addition, Ficker’s opponent for County Executive, Council member Marc Elrich (D-at large), lives in Takoma Park.

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Man sentenced to life for murder of two high school students

  • Published in Crime

Jose Canales Yanez mugshotROCKVILLE — A Montgomery County Circuit Court judge sentenced Jose Canales-Yanez, who a jury had convicted of first-degree murder of two Northwest High School students, to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Monday.

In January, a jury found Canales-Yanez guilty on two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Shadi Adi Najjar, 17, and Artem Ziberov, 18, both students at Northwest High School who were set to graduate the next day. Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge David A. Boynton sentenced Canales-Yanez to the maximum sentence under Maryland law – two separate life sentences without parole for each murder charge.

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Officer Cleared In Shooting

  • Published in Local

Montgomery County police officer won’t be prosecuted for shooting unarmed man

YouTube screen capture of body-camera video released by Montgomery County Police of an officer providing backup to Officer Anand Badgujar during incident with Robert White. COURTESY PHOTO  YouTube screen capture of body-camera video released by Montgomery County Police of an officer providing backup to Officer Anand Badgujar during incident with Robert White. COURTESY PHOTO  The Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office this week cleared Montgomery County police officer Anand Badgujar of any wrongdoing in the June 11th shooting that killed an unarmed Silver Spring man, 41-year-old Robert Lawrence White.

In a letter to Montgomery County Police, Howard County State’s Attorney Dario Broccolino said that his office will not press charges against Badgujar, 32, who shot and killed White, an unarmed African-American man after an afternoon confrontation in a parking lot.

“After reviewing all of the pertinent evidence and after a thorough review of the law, by myself and the members of our Senior Staff, we have, unanimously, concluded that Officer Badgujar’s actions were justified under the circumstances. As a result, no further action will be taken by this office,” Broccolino wrote to Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger.

According to a source close to the investigation, the confrontation between Badgujar and White began when Badgujar approached White near the 9200 block of Three Oaks Drive in Silver Spring. After Badgujar approached White, White charged and attempted to hit Badgujar, but White’s punch did not land. That led to Badgujar’s attempt to pepper spray White, but he missed. According to police, the situation escalated from there, as Badgujar requested backup, and went to turn off the ignition to his police cruiser. While Badgujar was going to turn off the ignition, White then ran at Badgujar, knocking him down. As Badgujar fell, he discharged his weapon. At this point, White also fell, got up, stood over Badgujar and began to assault him. Badgujar then fired multiple shots at White, killing him.

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