Damian Howard, 24, of the 5000 block of 4th Street in Northwest Washington, is charged with second-degree murder, assault and related charges in the killing of Tarreak Butler, 41, of Washington, according to police.
Damian Howard, 24, of the 5000 block of 4th Street in Northwest Washington, is charged with second-degree murder, assault and related charges in the killing of Tarreak Butler, 41, of Washington, according to police. (Courtesy Prince George's County Police Department)

A Washington, D.C., man has been charged in the killing of a tow company employee over a towing fee before dawn Sunday, Prince George’s County police said.

Damian Howard, 24, of the 5000 block of 4th St. in Northwest Washington, D.C., is charged with second-degree murder, assault and related charges in the killing of Tarreak Butler, 41, of Washington, D.C., according to police.

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A call Monday to a phone number listed for Butler’s home went unanswered.

No attorney was listed for Howard in online court records. He is being held without bail.

Officers responding to the 5000 block of College Ave. about 1:50 a.m. found Howard holding Butler, who was unconscious, in a chokehold, police said. The officers ordered him to release the victim before performing CPR on him, and he was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead about an hour later, police said.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy and ruled Butler’s death a homicide due to asphyxia strangulation, police said.

“The preliminary investigation reveals Howard attacked Butler over a towing fee,” police said.

Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to call detectives at 301-772-4925. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), or go online at www.pgcrimesolvers.com, or use the “P3 Tips” mobile app.

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