Two people charged with illegally entering the back yard of columnist Carl Rowan, prompting him to shoot one of them with an unregistered pistol, have agreed to perform 40 hours of community service.
In exchange, the U.S. Attorney's Office agreed to drop misdemeanor charges of unlawful entry against Benjamin Smith and Laura Bachman for the June 14th incident at Rowan's northwest Washington home.The settlement came in a three-minute hearing Tuesday in District of Columbia Superior Court.
Smith, 18, of Chevy Chase, Md., and Bachman, 19, of Bethesda, Md., refused comment after the hearing, citing their attorneys' advice.
Rowan, 62, said he heard people in his yard at about 2 a.m. June 14 and phoned police before emerging with a .22-caliber pistol to find a group of young people skinny-dipping in his pool, drinking beer and smoking marijuana.
Rowan said Smith approached him at the back door, lunging at him after being ordered to leave. Rowan contends his shot was a "warning shot" that hit Smith in the wrist, for which he was briefly hospitalized.