Detectives Investigate Assault of Ride On Bus Driver; Photographs Released

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department – 2nd District Investigative Section continue to investigate the March 7 assault and pepper spraying of a Ride On bus driver that occurred in the North Bethesda area.  Today, investigators are releasing surveillance photographs of the three suspects and are asking for the public’s help in identifying them.

The investigation determined that the three suspects boarded the Ride On bus in the area of Nicholson Lane and Nicholson Court in Bethesda.  The driver reported that during the bus ride, the suspects were disorderly and disturbing the other passengers.  The driver asked the suspects to stop but the suspects ignored him and continued being disruptive.  The driver stopped the bus on Westlake Drive near Arizona Circle and told the suspects to exit the bus.  As they exited, one suspect spit on the driver.  The driver exited the bus and was immediately assaulted, and pepper sprayed by one of the suspects.

Fire and Rescue personnel responded to the bus’ location and transported the driver to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries.

Anyone who recognizes the suspects or who has information about this assault is urged to contact the 2nd District Investigative Section at 230-773-6710.  For those who wish to remain anonymous, Crime Solvers of Montgomery County is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for any information that leads to the arrest of the suspect. Tipsters can call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).


Suspect #3 in Ride On bus driver assault

Suspect #1 in Ride On bus driver assault

Rear view of Suspect #1 in Ride On bus driver assault

Rear view of suspect #2 in Ride On bus driver assault

Suspect #2 in Ride On bus driver assault

Concern for Missing Bethesda Woman

Detectives from the 2nd District Investigative Section are asking for the public’s help in locating a missing Bethesda woman.

Andrea Jafari, age 21, of Ashburton Lane in Bethesda, was last seen yesterday (Sunday, March 18), at approximately 3:00 p.m., leaving her residence in her vehicle. Family members have been unable to contact Jafari since that time.

Jafari is described as a white female, approximately 5’ 05” tall and weighing approximately 135 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes.

Jafari’s vehicle is a gray, 2015 Mercedes-Benz mid-size SUV with Maryland tags: 3CJ9760.

Police and family are concerned for Jafari’s physical and emotional welfare.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Andrea Jafari and/or her vehicle is asked to call the Montgomery County Police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000 (available 24 hours).


Andrea Jafari

Concern for Missing Rockville Man with Dementia

Michael Irving Ward

Update: March 18, 2018 – Michael Irving Ward has been located safe and unharmed.

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department – 1st District Investigative Section are asking for the public’s help to locate a man who is missing from Rockville and has dementia.

Michael Irving Ward, age 62, was last seen by family members at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 17, when he left his Burgundy Drive home on foot.   Ward is described as a white male, 5’7” tall and weighing 187 pounds.  He was last seen wearing a grey sweatshirt and blue jeans.

Due to his dementia, police and family are concerned for Mr. Ward’s welfare.

Anyone who has information regarding Mr. Ward’s whereabouts is asked to call the Montgomery County Police non-emergency number, 301-279-8000 (available 24/7).


Detectives Charge Substitute Teacher For Inappropriate Touching of Student

Steven Katz

Detectives with the Special Victims Investigations Division (SVID) have charged Steven Katz, age 59, of the 6500 block of Quiet Hours in Columbia, with Sexual Abuse of a Minor and 4th Degree Sexual Offense.  The charges involve the inappropriate touching of an elementary school student by Katz in his role as a substitute teacher.

Preliminary investigation has revealed that sometime after school on March 8, a Clovery Elementary School student told his parent that his substitute teacher, identified as Katz, had touched him in a way that made him feel uncomfortable at school that day.  The parent notified Cloverly Elementary School administrators who then notified police.

During the investigation, detectives interviewed the student and also interviewed Katz.  During the interview with Katz, he made admissions relating to inappropriately touching the student.

A warrant was issued for Katz’ arrest.  Katz turned himself in to investigators this evening and he was transported to the Central Processing Unit.  Bond information is not available at this time.

Detectives are requesting that parents of juveniles who may have had contact with Steven Katz to talk to their children about any interaction with Katz and contact SVID detectives at 240-773-5400 if they believe their child was victimized.



Sobriety Checkpoint Tomorrow Night; Choose a Sober Driver

During St. Patrick’s Day, there are many celebrations where people choose to drink alcohol.  The Montgomery County Police Department is again reminding motorists to have a plan, drive responsibly, and choose a sober driver.

On Saturday, March 17, officers from the Montgomery County Police Department, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police, and the Gaithersburg Police Department will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint.

This enforcement is a component of the Department’s continuing effort to curb impaired driving and underage drinking.

The exact location of the checkpoint will not be disclosed in advance.

What: Sobriety Checkpoint

Where: Undisclosed Location

When: Saturday, March 17 (beginning at approximately 10:00 p.m.)

**The media is encouraged to attend.  Please contact the Public Information Office at 240-773-5030 (option 4) for more information.**