Prosecutor seeks to revoke release of man found insane in Va. officer shooting

virginia map(Danny Yi)

MANASSAS, Va. — The Alexandria, Virginia prosecutor who argued eight months ago against granting conditional release to a man found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 2013 wounding of a police officer, filed a motion Monday saying the recent arrest of Kashif Bashir shows he remains a danger to society.

Bashir, 33, was arrested Friday in Prince William County and charged with two counts of attempted arson and one count of arson, which are felonies. He also is charged with two misdemeanor counts of an acquitted insane person in possession of a gun.

In June 2018, Alexandria Circuit Court Judge James C. Clark released Bashir, with conditions, from the mental hospital he had been living in since being found not guilty by reason of insanity in the Feb. 27, 2013 shooting of motorcycle police officer Peter Laboy. Laboy was shot while assisting a young woman, who was being stalked by Bashir.

Laboy was severely injured. His wife and doctors dubbed his recovery miraculous. He was forced to retire because of his injuries.

Now, Alexandria Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter says the circumstances in Bashir’s recent arrest are dangerously similar to the situation in which Laboy was nearly killed.

Porter’s motion and Prince William County charging documents allege Bashir set one fire, and attempted to set another at the homes of two mental health professionals — one who “he has affections for.”

Prince William County charging documents allege surveillance video shows Bashir squirting an ignitable liquid from a plastic bottle on a woman’s car, then squirting more on the ground near her house, and igniting the liquid.

Shortly before or after the incident captured on video, ignitable fluid was sprayed on another woman’s car in Prince William County, but was not set on fire.

According to the arrest warrant, when questioned by fire investigators, Bashir acknowledged knowing both women, and said he told one woman’s boss “he has affections for her.”

In Porter’s motion to revoke conditional release, he quoted a report from the county agency charged with ensuring Bashir complies with the terms of his conditional release plan: “Mr. Bashir has demonstrated difficulties in maintaining professional boundaries with treatment providers.”

In addition, the agency said Bashir had not taken his prescribed psychiatric drugs on Feb. 5 and 6.

“In light of the facts of the underlying offense in this case, the origin which was his fixation on a woman he planned to rape and his use of a firearm in the shooting of Officer Laboy, it is clear that his preoccupation with his therapist and his possession of a firearm render him dangerous and in need of hospitalization,” Porter wrote.

In the arrest warrant, investigators said a search conducted of Bashir’s apartment turned up containers matching the plastic squeeze bottles found at both scenes, as well as another bottle containing an ignitable liquid.

An accelerant-sniffing dog from Stafford County alerted to a pair of Bashir’s shoes and jeans.

Porter’s motion asks the judge to either require inpatient hospitalization of Bashir and evaluate whether he has violated the terms of his conditional release, or find Bashir in contempt of court for violating his release plan.

After Bashir’s recent arrest, Laboy told WTOP: “It’s no surprise to me.”

Laboy had told Judge Clark that he was opposed to Bashir’s release. “It was only a matter of time before he will mess up again. And, there he goes.”

Bashir is being held in Prince William County, until his March 8 preliminary hearing. It is unclear when an Alexandria judge might hear arguments about conditions of Bashir’s release.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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