News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Diver Down: Reston Murder Suspect Denied Bond

So much for the claim that wetsuit-clad Reston engineer Evan Gargiulo shot a taxicab driver in Tysons Corner in self-defense.

When police found Mazhar Nazir shot to death in his taxi Nov. 2 in Tysons Corner, he was sitting in the driver's seat with his shoulder and lap seat belt fastened, a Fairfax County prosecutor said yesterday.

That revelation dealt a blow to the claim by Evan D. Gargiulo, 22, that he shot Nazir in self-defense as the cabdriver began to climb over the front seat to attack him after a fare dispute. A Fairfax circuit court judge then denied Gargiulo's request to be released on bond, bringing shouts of "Thank you!" from about 20 cabbies who attended the hearing to show their support for Nazir.
The rest of the sordid details:
Nazir picked up Gargiulo outside the Fur nightclub in Northeast Washington early Nov. 2. Gargiulo told police that he was wearing a scuba wet suit to a Halloween party and that a bag containing his wallet, keys and cellphone had been stolen inside the club. He persuaded Nazir to take him to his apartment in Reston for $75 and thought that he had more than $200 in cash in his wet suit.

According to Chief Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Ian M. Rodway, Gargiulo told Fairfax police that once he got home, he saw his 9mm handgun and decided "at that time he's going to take that weapon with him." In his own words, he "felt vulnerable" after having his wallet and phone stolen, Rodway said.

Nazir then drove Gargiulo to Tysons, where Gargiulo had parked his sport-utility vehicle at a friend's. But Gargiulo still didn't have any cash, Rodway said. After some discussion, Gargiulo told police, Nazir tried to climb over the front seat to attack him, and Gargiulo shot him. "Mr. Nazir was seat-belted in his car" when he was found, Rodway then noted.

Rodway pointed out that Gargiulo then went to his own vehicle, without calling police, and drove past the cab without stopping to check on Nazir. The next day, Rodway said, Gargiulo went to D.C. police and made a report about his stolen items, not noting that he had shot someone.

Gargiulo's attorney, Barry Helfand, said that Gargiulo, originally from Hillsborough, N.J., had recently graduated from Penn State University and wanted to return to his job as a systems engineer at Lockheed Martin in Reston. But Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Leslie M. Alden ruled that Gargiulo was "a danger to the community" and ordered him held without bond.
There's really nothing funny about this story, to be sure, so here is a picture of a puppy in a wetsuit:

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