Lyon Park Resident Arrested for Firing Bullet

by ARLnow.com May 29, 2012 at 5:28 pm 8,278 76 Comments

A Lyon Park resident has been arrested and accused of firing a bullet that whizzed by a man’s head.

Police say Laselle Booker, 57, was armed when he was arrested at his home on the 700 block of N. Edgewood Street. Booker is charged with attempted malicious wounding and reckless discharge of a firearm in public following a bizarre alleged incident that ended in the early morning hours of Friday, May 25.

According to Arlington County police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, Booker had earlier approached a man at a gas station in D.C. and wrote him a check for $500, claiming he was on a mission to help less fortunate people and had been told by God to write the check.

The man then drove Booker to his Lyon Park home, and Booker subsequently offered to let him stay in his guestroom, according to Sternbeck. The men had a four hour conversation at the house, which investigators say eventually escalated into an argument in the home’s front yard. Booker is alleged to have asked for the check back, writing a $50 check instead after the victim asked for money for a hotel.

The victim became “agitated” at that point, Sternbeck said, and eventually Booker took out a .40 caliber handgun and pulled the trigger several times, without actually firing the gun, investigators say. He then racked the gun’s slide and fired a round that whizzed by the victim’s head, according to Sternbeck. The victim fled the scene and called police.

Booker had the weapon in his possession when he was arrested just after 4:30 a.m., according to Sternbeck. As of this afternoon he remains in custody.

  • BrownFlipFlops

    “Nearly missed?” In my book, that means, “hit.”

    • You’re right, we’ve updated the article with more precise language.

  • E-Ross

    Do the police think this was the bullet that made its way into the random living room last week? 700 Edgewood St is quite a ways from where the bullet ended up…?

    • Joey

      I the one your talking about was a .45 this guy had a .40

  • Andy

    Is this the same bullet that the Lyon Park people found in their living room?

    • The bullet was found on Wednesday and this alleged incident happened two days later.

      • ArlForester

        That is one magic bullet.

        • Joe

          my girlfriend has one of those…

          • Larry

            you don’t have a girlfriend.

          • ArlForester

            But she has a BOB.

          • Curly

            La lee
            La lee
            A woob woob woob woob woob!

  • jigga

    shoulda used a glock

  • Arty Arty

    His linked in profile: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/la-selle-booker/3/b26/459

    VP at Accenture. That’s some weird stuff.

    • Scott

      Her we go….

      • Scott

        also *here

    • Weird?

      A guy with a TS/SCI in a 1.3+ Million dollar home, gets ride home from man who he paid with a check from God. Happens all the time.

      • Tabs

        He did buy at the height of the bubble.

    • ArlForester

      He’s an Annapolis grad and a partner at Accenture?! Wow.

      • HMCS JK

        did you see the address? hahaha

        • Tabs


    • Southeast Ben


      Note to Self: before committing crime, inactivate fb, LinkedIn, and all other sns accounts before mr ArlNow reader blow up my spot.

      Can’t believe he’s partner.

      • Tabs

        Well, obviously something’s happened to Mr. Booker’s mental health recently. What a shame.

  • alex1138

    If you can’t trust a guy who says that God told him to write a check who can you trust?

    • sunflower

      never trust a guy who buttons the top button on his polo shirt

      • Tabs

        You make a good point.

    • D'oh!

      Better than the guy who says God is telling everyone else to write him a check.

  • Southeast Jerome

    and I thought all the rom-com flicks in crystal city was bizarre.

    glad to see the county is staying vibrant!

    • sunflower

      nom, pls dont go there!

      • nom de guerre

        [ Reluctantly resists temptation to go there ]

  • that’s the same man????totally weird story!!

  • JimPB

    Missed the posting of a gun right advocate: Now if the person who was shot at had just had a gun in his possession, ….
    Subsequent story leade:
    Shoot out in Lyon Village distributes potent lead around the Lyon Village, resulting in
    Humane Society condemning lead bullet distribution for making toxic lead readily available to animals.
    Home repair companies “chasing” the trajectory of the bullets to solicit home owners for bullet hole repairs.
    Defense contractors seeking domestic sales to fill in for declining military orders offering bullet proof home siding and window shutters and
    personal bullet proof Knight’s armor with — instead of a sword or lance — a MK-47 for demolition of the target.

  • not your bro

    what’s with the mug shot articles? I’m unimpressed with the desire to ruin the lives of those accused.

    • Tabs

      Another good point.

    • Neutrino

      I agree. I feel similarly regarding public criminal registries. Now, of course, there is the difference between accused and convicted. However, I see it as harsh to ruin the lives of people who’ve completed their debts to society.

      • Quoth the Raven

        Whether or not some have “completed their debts”, some criminals (pedophiles, armed robbers, etc) are a constant danger to society and the public should be made aware of their presence. Criminal registries aren’t ruining their lives, by the way – they did that to themselves by choosing to commit a crime.

        • Josh S

          I know, might as well just go ahead and brand ’em, huh?

          • Quoth the Raven

            Branding might go a little far, but I’d be fine with making pedophiles wear a sign that says “I like to rape little kids.” But hey, if you want such folks as your neighbors, good for you!

          • Josh S

            Ah, the old “throw poop on your adversary” strategy. Well done. You have now earned +200 internet argument points.

          • Quoth the Raven

            Simply an interpretation of your comment – you didn’t seem to think that offender registries were a good idea (you suggested branding, in fact). I think they’re a good idea, and I would like to know if such a person is living in my neighborhood, near my kids.

          • Zoning Victim

            To what end? Knowing that he (presumably) is there isn’t going to change anything.

            Most people don’t even check the registries (though it is effectively branding criminals for those who do), and there is no evidence I can find that registries alone make people safer or affect recidivism rates. Eternal incarceration for pedophiles is a much more effective strategy.

            I don’t get the armed robbers comment. Are they any more dangerous than people who commit assaults, malicious woundings or attempted murders, or do you just think everyone who has ever been convicted of a violent crime should be eternally branded as a criminal?

          • Quoth the Raven

            I think most parents would want to know if a pedophile were living next door. I know my neighbors. They’re great. When my kids play in the yard, I don’t worry much about it. That would change if a pedophile lived next door. And eternal incarceration would be lovely, in my book. I agree that registries don’t affect recidivism – I don’t think that’s their point. The goal is to inform the public.

            As for the armed robbery comment, I was just trying to come up with another example of a serious crime that folks might want to know about – in other words, if a DUI guy lived next door, probably not too big a deal. An armed robber could be different. Maybe not the best example, though.

            By the way, I used to prosecute sex offenders, so I’ve seen what pedophiles do to families – both the victims’ and their own. I may be a bit over-sensitive on the whole topic –

        • drax

          So why don’t we register all criminals and not just sex offenders?

          • sunflower
          • Zoning Victim

            Proof that we don’t really target sex offenders and that registries are just a tool politicians use to solve a political problem (i.e. the need to look “tough on crime”) instead of the actual problem:

            “-Most sex offenders are not in prison, and those who are tend to serve limited sentences
            -Most sex offenders are largely unknown to people in the community
            -Sex offenders have a high risk of re-offending”

            So most sex offenders are not in prison, will not stay there long if they are in prison and we know they have a high risk of recidivism. Life in prison (real life in prison, not maybe life but at least a long time) will solve that; registries will not. We know all of this, yet politicians leave lax sentencing laws in place and demand registries.

    • drax

      1. Their lives are only ruined if people like you and me assume they are guilty.
      2. Blame the police, not the media.

      • Josh S

        drax, what?
        Blame the police? Can you explain that?

        • WeiQiang

          I think he means that the police release the mug shot. The media then has to decide whether to publish it or not. Whether or not the accused has been convicted, I’m ok with publishing the picture. I know that the accused is only that … accused. He/she deserves the presumption of innocence. In some cases, even if the accused has not [yet] been convicted, citizens have a right to decide whether they feel comfortable interacting [or having their families interact] with the accused. I think there is some risk of vigiliante-ism or humiliation [see also Trev, brah] and I’m not comfortable with armchair juries that materialize here, but on balance I’m ok with publishing the mug shots.

          • Josh S

            Assuming your conclusion about what he said is right —

            How can you blame the police for releasing the mug shot? Is that a choice made by the police? And wouldn’t that be like blaming the person who leaves a piece of pie on the counter when someone else comes along and eats it? ARLnow is so weak-willed and desperate for stories that it can’t decide whether or not to publish a mug shot? What about all the other mug shots? Where are they?

            Drax elsewhere points out that we don’t want the police to be making arrests in secret and so therefore we should be happy they are publishing names and mug shots, etc. I agree with that. But publishing these particular stories seems to serve no (or almost no) public interest. ARLnow has been around long enough now that it has shown itself to be a journalistically-minded blog. In other words, we don’t get stories about what he/they ate for dinner last night. Journalism should serve the public interest.

          • WeiQiang

            My answer, of course, depends on the flavor of pie but – more broadly – I don’t think one ‘blames’ the police for releasing the mug shot, per se. They take the mug shot and, apparently, make it publicly available. I’m not going to dwell on ‘blame’; I think it’s a rhetorical device to suggest that publishing the pics on ArlNow is wrong and therefore blame must be assigned.

            If there’s a question of ArlNow’s consistency in publishing pics [when do they? when don’t they?], that’s a legit discussion. I think they do well to keep the focus on issues of local interest. I think it’s also up for debate among the ArlNow mob here what’s in the public interest. My own opinion is that it probably varies among readers. Some stories here seem to be gratuitous, but seem to generate serious interest from the assembled masses/residents. Myself, I respond differently to different stories … but [note to moderator] never threaten.

            I think we can only provide feedback on our individual perspectives [as we’re doing] and let that feedback guide ArlNow in its editorial choices. Stories like Trev, 7-11 fappers, school trailers, and this story are going to generate pertinent and non-pertinent comments. In some peoples’ minds, those comments can be threatening or humiliating or humorous or insightful or arrogant or THE MOST PROPER. We’re the consumers of this particular media outlet and it will live or die based on our consumption of it … as-is or as we would like to make it.

          • drax

            If they don’t serve the public interest, why did you read it, Josh?

          • Zoning Victim

            It is not the police department’s choice (not that they wouldn’t want to release it, anyway):


            “C. Information in the custody of law-enforcement agencies relative to the identity of any individual, other than a juvenile, who is arrested and charged, and the status of the charge or arrest shall be released.”

        • JohnB2

          The police make these reports and mugshots available to the public.

      • sunflower

        i, too, need more of an explanation. didn’t you recently say:

        “There is a very good public purpose for the police publishing info about arrests. Imagine if they could arrest people in secret and never report it to the public? Is that what you want? I don’t think so.”

        • drax


          If you think mugshots should be private, then blame the police for not living up to your beliefs, not the media. Hope that’s clear.

          I think the idea that the police shouldn’t be able to arrest people secretly is self-explanatory.

          • sunflower

            yes sir! thanks.

  • KalashniKEV

    THUG LIFE!!!!!

    • MC 703

      This guy probably yells at his kids for acting too urban

  • John Fontain

    The story is so strange that it is unlikely to be true. It’d be more likely that the money was for something else and the 4 hours was not spent ‘talking’. This could have been a proposition gone bad if you know what I mean.

    • CW

      I agree with this. Especially given his line of work.

      Also, does anyone else find it strange how, in common English usage, it’s ok to say “fire a bullet” and also “fire a gun”? One would think you could only fire one or the other, you know?

      • sunflower

        “given his line of work?”. guess my coffee hasn’t kicked in yet

        • CW

          Yes, I gave in to speculation. He does all sorts of high-level national security stuff. So who knows who he interacts with or what he dabbles in.

          • tin foil hat

            yes CW..all government security contracts are arranged in gas stations in DC and paid by personal check.

          • CW

            I did not say they all were. Are you suggesting that no one involved in national security has ever had a covert meeting?

    • WeiQiang

      [resists the temptation to speculate on facts not in evidence … irrespective of the circumstantial reported evidence that also prompted me to consider another angle … but I won’t speculate]

    • John Fontain

      A birdie told me this weekend that my hunch was correct.

  • SoMuchForSubtlety

    Mental health issues…

  • HughJassPhD

    GoRemy was right!

    “Straight-up Thug Town Arlington!”

  • ConfusedinArl

    Does anyone else but me think there is no way that is the same guy in both pics?

    • John Fontain

      I kinda thought they looked different too, but maybe you look a bit different after spending $500 to ‘talk’ to someone for 4 hours from midnight to 4 am and then having to go through a booking process. Not getting any sleep at all has an effect on your appearance.

      • drax

        Not to mention the months of crazy this guy apparently has been going through to get to this point.

        • DraxQiang

          Then our job of pointless bloviating until we drive the citizens of Arlington insane is starting to work. Just you all wait until we do our collective treatise on the best way to watch paint dry.

          • WeiQiang

            Brah, that’s not even up for discussion … with the light behind you.

            … and, DQ, may I suggest a little MMA to decompress.

          • Josh S

            I suggest someone visit the Thesaurus again……

  • Jason C

    Hopefully Accenture can consult better than this guy can shoot

  • Not

    The linkedin profile guy is not the same person as this guy. I CANNOT BELIEVE you guys can’t tell that. You really DO think we all look alike! Amazing – hope you make better witnesses in criminal trials.

  • Believe you don’t all truths

    i know this man and know he is experiencing much more than anyone on this page can imagine. regardless of what it may or may not sound like remember that things are never as they seem and people have more going on in their lives than what is on the surface level.


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