Anthrax-Probe Figure Loses Ticket Fight; Hatfill Was Issued Ticket While Walking in Street

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), August 16, 2003 | Go to article overview

Anthrax-Probe Figure Loses Ticket Fight; Hatfill Was Issued Ticket While Walking in Street


Byline: Guy Taylor, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The bioweapons expert who made headlines in the FBI's anthrax investigation brought two high-powered lawyers to fight a $5 ticket in D.C. traffic court yesterday - and still lost.

Steven J. Hatfill tried to get the ticket issued for "walking to create a hazard" on Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown dropped. He said he was in the street attempting to take a picture of FBI agents tailing him when they then drove over his foot.

One of Mr. Hatfill's lawyers, who produced photos of a foot with purple bruises on it, said the $5 ticket was "reflective of a bigger problem of unrelenting harassment of Steven Hatfill by the FBI."

Asked whether charges will be filed against the bureau, Mr. Hatfill's pro-bono attorney Thomas Connolly said: "That's an idea."

But, "unlike the FBI, I don't tell you what I'm going to do two months ahead of time," he added.

The hearing at the D.C. Center for Traffic Adjudication Services attracted a throng of reporters and marked the latest in a string of events that have surrounded Mr. Hatfill.

The FBI has never called him a suspect in its investigation into who mailed the deadly anthrax-packed letters to media outlets in Florida and New York, and to two senators on Capitol Hill in October 2001. Five persons died, and 17 were severely sickened by the anthrax.

The Justice Department referred to him last year as one among several people of interest in the anthrax probe, and when the FBI conducted repeated searches of his apartment last year, Mr. Hatfill was pushed to the center of new coverage of the investigation.

Meanwhile, the bureau was said to be keeping him under 24-hour surveillance.

In traffic court, Mr. Hatfill argued that a D.C. police officer wrongly issued him the ticket May 17.

He said he had parked his car and stepped into the street to take pictures of several cars that were following him. The driver of one of the cars, who was recording Mr. Hatfill with a video camera, suddenly stepped on the gas, rolling over Mr. …

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