FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
For Information Contact:
District Man Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison
For Carjacking in Southeast Washington
- Later Crashed Car While Fleeing Police, Injuring Two People -
WASHINGTON - Dale Johnson, 23, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to eight years in prison for a carjacking that took place last spring that led to a car crash resulting in the injuries of two people, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Johnson pled guilty to the charge of carjacking in September 2011 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He was sentenced by the Honorable Anthony C. Epstein. Upon completion of his prison term, Johnson will be placed on five years of supervised release.
According to a proffer of facts submitted with the plea agreement, Johnson and another man were wearing black masks on the evening of May 14, 2011, when they approached the driver of a Toyota Camry that was parked in the 700 block of 51st Street SE. They demanded the driver give them the car at gunpoint. The driver relinquished the car, and Johnson and the other masked man drove away. The victim of the carjacking reported the crime to police.
The following day, at approximately 6:30 p.m., officers of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) were on routine patrol in their marked car when they observed the stolen Camry headed east in the 4900 block of East Capitol Street NE. Johnson was driving the stolen vehicle. The officers activated their emergency equipment to alert Johnson to stop, but when he observed their lights and sirens, he immediately sped away in an attempt to flee and avoid arrest.
Johnson sped recklessly over a median and drove directly into oncoming traffic at an estimated speed of 60 to 70 mph. He sped head-on into a black Mercedes, which was occupied by a driver and juvenile passenger. The stolen car was sent airborne and immediately caught fire upon landing. Officers rushed toward the stolen car and rescued Johnson moments before it exploded and was engulfed in flames. The driver and passenger of the Mercedes were seriously injured as a result of the collision Johnson caused, and they were hospitalized for a significant period of time. The driver received emergency medical treatment, and his medical costs associated with the collision have exceeded $20,000. The juvenile victim broke his femur as a result of the collision and he was hospitalized for several weeks. The juvenile was forced to attend his high school prom and graduation in a wheelchair.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the work of those who handled the case for the MPD, especially Detective Eric Roche and Officers Jeffrey Buchanan and Thomas O’Donnell, who were among the first to respond to the scene. Mr. Machen additionally praised the exemplary work of Paralegals Tony Griffith and Antoinette Sakamsa. Finally, he recognized the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric Kenerson and Ephraim (Fry) Wernick, who investigated and prosecuted the case.