CRIME

Yonathan Melaku tries to escape from cell, police say

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The Marine reservist facing charges in connection with five separate shootings at military facilities in northern Virginia attempted to escape from the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center.

Yonathan Melaku has been charged with damaging the facility to aid escape and possession of an instrument to aid escape.

He is accused of damaging a small portion of a cinderblock in his cell.

Melaku caused a scare in Virginia in June when he was found with suspicious material in a backpack at Arlington Cemetery, which is located near the Pentagon. Melaku, a naturalized citizen originally from Ethiopia, was detained for trespassing after becoming uncooperative, authorities said, but hadn't been charged as of Friday night.

A short time after the cemetery incident, authorities charged him in connection with a series of mysterious shootings at military facilities in the D.C. area.

Authorities say Melaku videotaped himself carrying out the five shootings at military buildings. According to charging documents, Melaku states one video: “That’s my target. That’s the military building. It’s going to be attacked.”

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