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Gang Charge Goes to Grand Jury

Kenneth John Dias III is batting .500. Last week in Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, one criminal charge against him was dropped and the other was sent to the grand jury.

Dias, 18, of Clinton, Md., was charged in connection with the Oct. 13 stabbing of a 16-year-old Fairfax boy inside Fair Oaks Mall. Fairfax County police said the incident was gang-related, and they charged Dias with malicious wounding and gang participation.

ACCORDING TO police, the victim walked into the mall that evening, around 6:30 p.m., with a woman, 21, and boy, 14, both from Fairfax. As he entered, he bumped into another man who, say police, allegedly "stabbed the teen in the midsection, knocking him to the ground."

The suspect ran outside the mall and then back inside through a department store. But the victim and his two acquaintances followed the suspect and chased him inside the department store.

When police arrived, the victim told officers he'd been stabbed. They then found the suspect — reportedly identified as Dias — inside the mall and took him into custody. Meanwhile, the victim was treated at Inova Fairfax Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

After the incident, police spokeswoman Shelley Broderick said he and Dias "knew of each other because they were both in gangs." In court last Friday, Nov. 17, the charge of malicious wounding was dropped, in exchange for Dias' promise to plead guilty to the criminal gang-participation offense.

He waived his right to a preliminary hearing on that charge on Friday, and then Judge Gayl Carr certified the gang charge to the next grand jury for possible indictment. Currently, Dias is slated to enter his plea, Dec. 27, in Circuit Court.

According to Dias' attorney, Bob Whitestone, "Investigation revealed that everyone [involved in the incident] was armed with knives — even the victim and his companion."