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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

District Man Sentenced to 102 Months in Prison for Traffic Fatality in Northeast Washington

Driver Fled from Police Causing Crash and Killing Bicyclist

           WASHINGTON – Robert E. Little, 25, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to eight and a half years in prison on a charge of voluntary manslaughter in a crash that killed bicyclist, David Salovesh in Northeast Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).  

           Little pled guilty on July 23, 2019, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.  The plea, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for the eight and a half years prison sentence, which was agreed upon by the government and the defense. The Honorable Craig Iscoe accepted the plea and sentenced Little accordingly. 

           According to the government’s evidence, the fatal crash occurred on Friday, April 19, 2019, at approximately 10:15 a.m. Uniformed MPD officers in a marked cruiser attempted to stop the van that Little was driving earlier near the intersection of Bladensburg Road and Benning Road NE, because the van was reported stolen from Maryland the day before. When officers activated their emergency lights behind Little’s van, he fled from police, turning west onto Florida Avenue NE. For safety concerns, officers discontinued their attempt to stop the van, after realizing that the van was not going to stop.

           Continuing to flee, Little drove at a high rate of speed west in the 1200 block of Florida Avenue NE. He ran a red light at the intersection of Florida Avenue, 12th Street and Montello Avenue, and struck a vehicle that was driving through the intersection with the green light. The collision caused Little’s van to be redirected, and it struck the victim, David Salovesh, who had been riding a bicycle and was stopped at the red light waiting to continue east bound on Florida Avenue. During the crash, Little’s van dragged Mr. Salovesh’s body, struck a tree, a trash can and came to a rest, pinning Mr. Salovesh against a second tree, killing him. 

           The pursuing officers came upon the crash scene while Little was still behind the wheel of the stolen van. Little, who was injured, was taken to a hospital and treated. His blood taken at the hospital was later analyzed and found to contain PCP. The crash data recorder of the van was downloaded and showed that the Little was driving at speeds up to 78 miles per hour, in a 25 mile per hour zone, leading up to the crash.    

           In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu and Chief Newsham commended the work of the officers and detectives who investigated the case from the Major Crash Investigations Unit of the Metropolitan Police Department. They acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Investigative Analyst Zachary McMenamin, Paralegal Specialists Stephanie Siegerist and Lorce Applewhite, and Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker. 

           Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward A. O’Connell, who prosecuted the case.

Press Release Number: 
19-181
Updated October 3, 2019