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Serious charges dropped in cutting

By Matt Zapotosky
Matt Zapotosky

Prosecutors have dropped the most serious charges against the man accused of cutting three University of Maryland students and another man outside a College Park bar last month, authorities said.

Leonardo Alonso Ramos, 21, had been charged with attempted second degree murder and other related counts in connection with the incident. On Wednesday, prosecutors dropped the attempted murder charges, though they are still pursuing second-degree assault charges, authorities said.

Ramon V. Korionoff, a spokesman for Prince George's State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey, said detectives uncovered surveillance footage after filing charges that showed Ramos was acting in self-defense when he cut the four people with a folding knife. Witnesses also supported that account, which Ramos had offered initially, Korionoff said.

"Ramos was being beaten by several individuals. He used his pocket knife in self defense," Korionoff said.

Korionoff said the second-degree assault charges stem from an attack inside The Thirsty Turtle. That incident eventually led to the cutting outside, police have said. The Thirsty Turtle has since forfeited its liquor license under pressure from University of Maryland Police Chief David Mitchell and the county's Board of License Commissioners.

Police have said the people Ramos stabbed were too drunk to give detailed statements on what happened. None of their injuries was life threatening, police said.

Police had also said Ramos acted as if he had done something wrong -- fleeing the scene and shaving his head to avoid detection. He eventually was arrested after his image was caught on surveillance camera, and family members, approached by police, convinced him to turn himself in.

On Wednesday, Prince George's Police Public Affairs Commander Maj. Andrew Ellis said detectives supported the state's attorney's decision to pursue lesser charges. He said the initial charges were filed based on what detectives knew at the time, and as is frequently the case, further investigation produced new evidence.

Korionoff said prosecutors are still weighing whether to charge those cut. Three of the victims were University of Maryland students; the other was Ramos's own brother, police have said.

"We are working through evidence and other matters to help determine our next course of action," he said.

By Matt Zapotosky  | November 10, 2010; 3:50 PM ET
Categories:  Matt Zapotosky, Pr. George's  
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All the bars in College Park the serve those under 21 should be closed.

Posted by: 10bestfan | November 10, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Its all about getting a victory in court rather than letting the gut go free. Justice and punishment have nothing to do with it. The prosecutors want a certain victory so they lower the charges that a mice in the jury would convict and they get their victory.
Lawyers are the scum of the earth. They dont have any feelings for anybody. It's all about the money and THEIR EGO.

Posted by: captgrumpy | November 10, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Since the prosecutor is now saying he acted in self defense, why are they charging him with any crime?

Posted by: buffysummers | November 10, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

If it was self-defense, why are they filing charges for second degree assault? Did his brother "attack" him too? Something's fishy in PG. Could a certain "immigrant's rights" group have anything to do with this? It seems that if you have a latino last name that you can get away with anything in this area.

Posted by: stopthemadness | November 10, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Credit to the state's attorney and police who investigated the situation and changed the charges accordingly. Now please press charges against the gang of 6 fratboiz who attacked 2 Hispanic non-students. Then we'll know that the justice system works fairly and doesn't serve just the privileged.

Posted by: pundito | November 10, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

No, pundito, precious does not get to pull a knife and then turn around and press charges whether the other guys were college students or not. It seems that this guy lives in MoCo and has had the same if not MORE opportunity handed to him and he's still a thug wannabe. Cuts his own brother? NICE. This area is way over the top in it's "justice" to perpetrators because they come from a "disadvantaged group"- call it a day with that card you're trying to pull.

Posted by: stopthemadness | November 10, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

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