CRIME

David Goldberg, Montgomery Mall stabbing suspect, held without bond

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Goldberg faces nine felony charges, including attempted first-degree murder. Photo: Montgomery County Police

BETHESDA, Md. (WJLA) -- The man suspected of stabbing two people Thursday afternoon in a fit of road rage at a Bethesda Mall, is being kept behind bars without bond.

David Goldberg, 24, of Potomac appeared via video conference for his Friday afternoon bond hearing. The Winston Churchill High School drop-out sobbed as he stated his name. Goldberg later shook his head as Maryland District Court Judge Gary Everngam read the daunting list of nine felony charges stacked against him.

According to court documents, around 2 p.m. Thursday, Rachel Peterson and her boyfriend Clifton Botts were driving along the inner ring of the Westfield Montgomery Mall. Peterson's mother and her young child were in the back seat. The family of four approached a four-way stop when court documents allege, Goldberg blew a stop sign, cutting them off. Investigators say Peterson, who was behind the wheel, honked her horn at Goldberg causing him to yell expletives out his window.

Feeling his actions were unwarranted, Peterson followed Goldberg, whose one-year-old daughter was buckled in the back seat. At the next intersection, Peterson and Botts exited their car and approached Goldberg's Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, but he sped-off.

The couple walked back to their vehicle and drove to the nearby Sears parking lot. As the four walked toward the anchor department store, the sound of a revving engine could be heard. Peterson and Botts turned their heads and told police they saw Goldberg racing toward them. Goldberg however lost control and hit a parked four-door sedan.

Court documents allege Goldberg and Botts began exchanging words when the Potomac-native yanked-out a five-inch knife, stabbing Botts in the upper back, left cheek and right bicep. While trying to break-up the fight, Goldberg reportedly stabbed Peterson in the stomach, perforating her abdomen wall.

Paramedics transported the couple to a trauma center where Peterson underwent emergency surgery for what investigators called, "a life-threatening injury." Botts' injuries were described as, "much less serious."

A swarm of Montgomery County Police units began canvassing the mall and surrounding area for Goldberg. A patrolman ultimately located the father and his young daughter on the top level of the parking garage in front of California Pizza Kitchen. Goldberg told approaching officers, "I didn't mean to do this," court documents say.

During Friday's court proceedings, the State's Attorney's Office argued Goldberg was a danger to society. Although Goldberg has no criminal record, prosecutors resurrected a peace order where the defendant aimed a BB gun at his estranged mother-in-law. They also drew attention to the 24-year-old's fascination with weaponry, including large knives and swords.

"This was a very serious case of road rage and Mr. Goldberg displayed he is a danger to public safety," Senior Assistant State's Attorney Robert Hill said in court.

Goldberg's mother clasped onto a neighbor's hand as her son's defense attorney asked the judge to issue a bond, and a reasonable one at that.

"Mr. Goldberg shares custody of his daughter. He's had no prior criminal issues as a juvenile or adult. As this case evolves, facts will develop that will show he was afraid for he and his daughter's safety," defense attorney Paul Chung stated.

Until Thursday, Goldberg had been living with his mother, step-father and daughter in a house along the 11600 block of Milbern Dr. in Potomac; a quiet neighborhood of mature trees and well-kept homes.

"Good heavens, I'm shocked. I can't imagine it. I just can't imagine losing that much control over yourself," neighbor David Whistler said.

According to his LinkedIn account, Goldberg worked as a DJ, spinning records at local night clubs. He'd also mastered the art of twirling glow sticks, a technique he called "stringing" in a video he posted to YouTube. An Aug. 2010 car accident however severely injured his back, ending his ability to perform the unique talent.

"I'm no longer able free-hand or string, which sucks cause I'm going to miss it a lot," Goldberg said in the YouTube video.

Goldberg is charged with two counts of Attempted 1st Degree Murder, two counts of 1st Degree Assault, two counts of 2nd Degree Assault and three counts of Reckless Endangerment. If convicted, the 24-year-old could spend the rest of his life in state prison.

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