Fatal Collision on River Road Investigated

Update: February 29, 2016 – Helena Buarque De Macedo’s age has been confirmed.  She is 15 years old.


Detectives with the Montgomery County Police Collision Reconstruction Unit are investigating a collision that occurred Saturday night that involves three fatalities.

On Saturday, February 27 at approximately 6:56 p.m., 2nd District officers and Fire and Rescue personnel responded to River Road and Pyle Road for a report of a serious collision.  Investigation determined that a blue, 2016 BMW M235, operated by Ogulcan Atakoglu was traveling west (outbound) on River Road.  At the same time, a gray, 2016 Chevrolet Volt, operated by Michael Buarque De Macedo, was traveling east (inbound) on River Road.  As the Volt was attempting to turn left onto Pyle Road the two vehicles collided.

The four occupants in the Volt, a family of two parents and two children, were all seriously injured.  Three occupants succumbed to their injuries on the scene.  They are being identified as, Michael Buarque De Macedo, 52 years old, driving, Alessandra M. Buarque De Macedo, 52 years old, a rear seat passenger, and Thomas Michael Buarque De Macedo, 18 years old, the front seat passenger.  Helena Buarque De Macedo, a rear seat passenger, was transported to a local trauma center with life threatening injuries.  Her age cannot be confirmed at this time, but she is believed to be a teenager**.  Mr. and Mrs. Buarque DeMacedo lived with their son Thomas and daughter Helena in the 7000 block of Loch Lomond Drive in Bethesda.

Ogulcan Atakoglu, 20 years old, was transported to a local trauma center with non-life-threatening injuries.

This collision remains under investigation.  Anyone with information regarding this collision is asked to contact the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 240-773-6620.

 **February 29,2016 – Helena Buarque De Macedo’s age has been confirmed.  She is 15 years old.


Concern for Missing Rockville Teen

Naja Jose[h

Naja Joseph

March 3, 2016 (9:36 a.m.) – UPDATE: Naja Haley Joseph has been located safe and unharmed. She has been reunited with her family.



Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Special Victims Investigation Division are asking the public for help in locating a missing teenager.

Naja Haley Joseph, 15 years old, of the 5500 block of Dowgate Court in Rockville, was last seen this morning at approximately 9:00 a.m.

Naja is described as an African American female, 5’ 9” tall, and weighing 125 pounds.  She has brown eyes and black medium length hair.  Her hair is styled in twist braids.  At the time she left her home, she was wearing a black jacket, black Adidas pants, and black sandals.

Naja Joseph may be traveling with Lonzo Roberto Lucas, a male friend who is 21 years old.  He resides in the 4700 block of Lyons Run Circle in Owings Mills.  He is described as an African American male who is 6’ tall, weighs 200 pounds, and has brown hair and brown eyes.  He may be wearing a red jacket and black pants.  Lonzo Roberto Lucas may be operating a black, 2008, Nissan Altima with Maryland tag 1BZ3570.

Police and family are concerned for Naja’s emotional and physical welfare due to her age.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Naja Joseph or Lonzo Roberto Lucas is asked to call the Montgomery County Police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000.  Callers may remain anonymous.



DUI Driver Who Injured MCP Officer Sentenced to Three Years as Repeat Offender

Yesterday in District Court, Lennwood Saunders, age 35, of Flagger Drive in Gaithersburg, was sentenced to three years for one count of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) and one count of possession of a controlled dangerous substance-cocaine.  During this driving under the influence offense, which occurred on October 21, 2015, Saunders struck and injured Montgomery County Police Officer Michael Murphy.  The collision was captured on Officer Murphy’s cruiser camera and was used as evidence in court.  Including this incident, Saunders has been arrested five times for DUI in Maryland and arrested two times for DUI in Texas.

On October 21, 2015, at approximately 11:12 p.m., Officer Michael Murphy was conducting a traffic stop on southbound Clopper Road in the area of Cinnamon Drive in Germantown.  Officer Murphy had approached the driver’s side of the stopped vehicle and was speaking to the driver when he noticed a vehicle (a Chevrolet Tahoe) approaching him at a high rate of speed.  Although Officer Murphy attempted to avoid being hit, the right, exterior mirror of the Tahoe struck Officer Murphy on the right side of his back.  The operator of the striking vehicle made no attempt to stop and continued driving on Clopper Road.

Officer Murphy ran back to his patrol vehicle and was able to stop the Tahoe approximately one mile from where he had been struck.  Officer Murphy spoke to the driver, now identified as Lennwood Saunders.  While speaking with Saunders, Officer Murphy made observations that indicated that Saunders was under the influence of alcohol; Saunders had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech.  Saunders provided Officer Murphy with a store membership card when asked to provide his license. Officer Murphy observed a 12-pack of beer (with some cans removed) as well as several empty alcohol containers sitting on the passenger seat of the vehicle.  When Officer Murphy informed Saunders that he had struck him, Saunders stated that he thought he had “hit a tree branch.”  A beer can was also located in Saunders’ pocket.

An assisting officer administered Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) and determined that there was probable cause to believe that Saunders was driving under the influence of alcohol.  A Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) administered to Saunders at the scene determined that his Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) was .20.  (The legal BAC limit in Maryland is .08).  Saunders was placed under arrest and transported to a district station.  He refused to submit to a chemical breath test.  A check of his license status determined that his Maryland license was suspended and revoked.

A search of Saunders vehicle revealed a digital scale with cocaine residue.

Officer Murphy was transported to a local hospital where it was determined that he had suffered a cracked rib.  Officer Murphy, in his eighth year of serving the Department, was unable to work for over a month.  He currently serves as a District Community Action Team (DCAT) officer in the 1st District.

Upon learning of the sentencing in this case, Chief Tom Manger stated, “Drivers like this repeat offender is why we are working to strengthen DUI laws in Maryland.”


DUI Video

Video from Officer Murphy’s cruiser camera









Officer Murphy speaks during press conference regarding proposed DUI bills (Annapolis)

Officer Murphy speaks during press conference regarding proposed DUI bills (Annapolis)

Lennwood Saunders

Lennwood Saunders




December Pedestrian Collision Now Fatal

MCPSealBestDetectives from the Collision Reconstruction Unit have completed their investigation of a now fatal collision that occurred in December of 2015.

On December 18, 2015, at approximately 7:09 p.m., 3rd District officers and Fire and Rescue personnel responded for the report of a struck pedestrian on E. Randolph Road at Serpentine Way. Preliminary investigation revealed that the pedestrian was crossing the westbound lanes of E. Randolph Road when he was struck by a 2006 Volkswagen Jetta that was traveling westbound on E. Randolph Road. The pedestrian was transported to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries. The pedestrian succumbed to his injuries on February 21, 2016.

The victim is identified as Patrick Yip Yang, age 82, of the 2000 block of Aventurine Way in Silver Spring.

The driver of the Volkswagen Jetta is identified as Edna N. Ogbonna, age 57, of the 12900 block of Summer Hill Drive in Silver Spring. Ogbonna was not injured in the collision.


Sobriety Checkpoint Tonight

DUICheckpointSignTonight, Montgomery County Police Department officers, Rockville City Police Department officers, Maryland State Police troopers, and Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies 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. The checkpoint times are approximate and the checkpoint will be cancelled if there is inclement weather.

WHAT: Sobriety Checkpoint

WHERE: Undisclosed Location

WHEN: Tonight – Friday, February 19 (beginning at approximately 11:00 p.m.)

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