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Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry‘s son Christopher Barry was arrested downtown last Friday after allegedly driving under the influence of drugs, court records show. A Metropolitan Police Department officer also allegedly discovered synthetic marijuana in Barry’s car.
Barry, 33, has been charged with operating a vehicle while impaired, driving under the influence, and operating a vehicle on a suspended or revoked license.
The arrest could jeopardize what’s rumored to be the elder Barry’s plan, in the face of his own poor health, to arrange for his son to succeed him on the D.C. Council.
Barry’s son stirred questions about potential political ambitions ahead of April’s Democratic primary, when he sat next to his father on stage in Ward 8 as the former mayor endorsed Vince Gray‘s re-election bid. The Washington Informer recently quoted the younger Barry saying that he “may step up and do it,” with Christopher Barry adding that “a son is loyal to his father.”
Christopher Barry didn’t respond to LL’s request for comment. Marion Barry’s Council office spokeswoman said the family wouldn’t comment on the arrest on the advice of longtime Barry family attorney Fred Cooke Jr. Cooke tells LL he’s not Christopher Barry’s attorney on this matter. An attorney listed in court records as representing Barry in this case, Robert Feeney, didn’t respond to a request for comment, either.
Barry’s arrest came around 4:45 p.m. on Friday on the 1700 block of I St. NW, according to a police affidavit. Seeing a Ford Explorer that appeared to be stalled in rush hour traffic, an MPD officer approached the driver’s side window. He discovered Barry, who the officer claims rolled up the window and brushed a substance that would later test positive as synthetic marijuana off of his clothes.
The affidavit claims that the car also smelled of the drug when Barry rolled down the window at the officer’s request. After the officer tested Barry’s sobriety with eye and balance tests, Barry was arrested on DUI, possession, and drug paraphernalia grounds. Barry was released from jail on Monday, according to court records.
Barry’s license was under a one-year suspension after he pleaded guilty last November to another DUI charge in Virginia. In 2011, Barry was charged with possession of PCP with intent to distribute, but eventually pleaded guilty to less serious possession charges.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery