November 29, 2011

Serial bank robber pleads guilty; hit several states

A man who authorities say robbed banks from Glen Burnie to Brookings, South Dakota, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Baltimore on Monday. Gary Allen Densmore, 56, who used to live in Anne Arundel County, faces up to 20 years on each of three counts of bank robbery.

Prosecutors say that on Feb. 2, he tried to rob the Carrollton Bank on Crain Highway in Glen Burnie by handing a teller a bag and a demand note. He ran out of the bank when the teller hesitated. The next day, prosecutors said he walked into the Severn Savings Bank on Crain Highway, handed the teller a note and a bag, and fled with $2,300.

The Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office said Densmore stole a car and left Maryland. They said he hit banks in February and March in Wisconsin, South Dakota and Iowa before being arresrted in Minnesota.

More details from a statement by the Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office:

Continue reading "Serial bank robber pleads guilty; hit several states" »

November 28, 2011

Federal air marshals arrest man on plane en route to BWI

Don't sit too close the federal air marshals.

A 34-year-old man from South Carolina was charged Monday with assaulting a federal air marshal during what prosecutors describe as a fight on board an airplane making its descent into Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall Airport.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Beth P. Gesner ordered the suspect, William D. Barna, from James Island, to undergo five to seven days of alcohol rehabilitation then spend 28 days in an inpatient program. Once released, the said he cannot fly on a commercial airline until this case is resolved.
The incident occurred Sunday night aboard Delta Airlines Flight 1624 from Atlanta to Baltimore.

Prosecutors said that 15 minutes from landing, Barna, seated in seat 3A, yelled at a passenger sitting next to him, in 3B.

The criminal complaint says Barna struck the passenger, identified in court documents as Krystopher R. Holloway. But Federal Air Marshal Colby W. Swift, was sitting behind the suspect, in Seat 4C, and his partner, was directly in front of him, in 3C.

The complaint in U.S. District Court in Baltimore says Swift and his partner broke up the altercation and seated Barna away from the other passenger. The court documents say that Barna appeared to fall asleep, but that he suddenly “woke up, threatened Federal Air Mashal Swift with a raised, clenched fist and then attempted to strike him with a clenched left fist.”

Colby and his unidentified partner then tried to subdue Barna and prosecutors said in court documents the three rolled around the aisle and that Swift was “forced to employ a leverage technique in order to gain … control of the subject’s right arm.”

Prosecutors said the air marshals subdued him until landing and that once on the group, police with the Maryland Transportation Authority put a “split face shield and leg restraints” on the suspect. The court documents do not describe what the initial altercation was about; Holloway could not be reached for comment.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 7:01 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

November 22, 2011

Jailed on traffic violation, suspect leaves charged with murder

Anne Arundel County police had been looking for Cornelius Keith Johnson for nearly week in the killing of a man outside a seafood restaurant and Glen Burnie.

Authorities said Johnson unwittingly came to them.

On Nov. 13, the 24-year-old reported to the Baltimore County Detention Center to serve a weekend sentence -- total four days -- for driving on a suspended license. Jail officials discovered there was a warrant out for his arrest.

He was detained and on Monday was taken to Anne Arundel County and charged with first-degree murder in the Nov. 13 killing of Andrew Michael Johnson, 25, outside MO's Seafood on Ritchie Highway.

Police have not released a motive or said what led them to the suspect, who is not related to the victim. The shooting occurred about 10:30 p.m. The suspect lives in the 4200 block of Shamrock Ave. in Northeast Baltimore.

Correction: Police said on Tuesday that the suspect and victim are believed to be half-brothers. Read the full story here.

November 17, 2011

Man arrested on child porn charges in undercover sting at Crofton library

Maryland State Police arrested a 24-year-old man during a sting at a public library in Crofton and charged him with distributing child pornography over the Internet.

Robert J. Hudson 2nd, of the 1000 block of Christmas Lane in Gambrills, faces up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted.

Police said an undercover trooper chatted with the suspect on a file sharing network and chatted with the suspect about child pornography. "The suspect agreed to meet with the undercover trooper and exchange files of child pornography," state police said in a statement.

On Wednesday, police said Hudson met with the undercover trooper at the library and arrested him. Police said they also searched the man's house and confiscated his computer. The suspect was being held at the Anne Arundel County Detention Center on  $275,000 bond.

The case was investigated by the Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force set up to protect children from computer-facilitated sexual exploitation.
Posted by Peter Hermann at 6:43 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

November 15, 2011

Police seek suspect in fatal shooting outside Glen Burnie seafood restaurant

Anne Arundel County police are seeking a Northeast Baltimore man in Sunday's fatal shooting outside Mo's Seafood restaurant on Ritchie Highway in Glen Burnie. Police said the victim was found outside on the parking lot about 10:30 p.m.

Andrew Michael Johnson, 25, of the 100 block of Sloane Drive in Glen Burnie, was pronounced dead at Harbor Hospital of a gunshot wound to the upper body.

Police have charged Cornelius Keith Johnson, 24, of the 4200 block of Shamrock Drive, in Baltimore in a warrant with first-degree murder. Police have not disclosed a motive but said the "killing was targeted and was not a random act."

The suspect is at left in a police mug shot. Police said they do not believe he is related to the victim of the same name. Court records show that Cornelius Johnson was convicted of a handgun possession in 2005 in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, but got a 30 day suspended jail sentence and one year probation.

In 2008, he accepted probation before judgment on a drug possession case and was sentenced to two years probation. 

Anyone with information should contact Detective N. Cooper at 410-222-3453 or Metro Crime Stoppers to remain anonymous. 

Posted by Peter Hermann at 6:58 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

November 14, 2011

Arundel vice officers working side job for casino; chief works secondary too

Commanders in the Anne Arundel County police department who oversee gambling investigations have side jobs as security guards for the developer building Arundel Mills, the Annapolis Capital's Scott Daughterty reported this weekend.

Chief Col. James Teare Sr. told the newspaper that he sees no conflict with the security work - and in fact, Daugherty reported, Teare himself - who earns $138,000 annually - works a side security job for BGE. County Executive John Leopold defended Teare and the command staff, while union officials and ethics and law enforcement experts were critical:

The after-hours security work for Cordish - which the department first authorized in May - shocked the former chairman of the county's Ethics Commission and several law enforcement experts.

"Having people who regulate gambling working for a casino operator is just mind-boggling," said Christopher S. Rizek, who headed the Ethics Commission from 2004 to 2008.

"Anybody working vice, narcotics or organized crime should under no circumstances work (secondary employment). It compromises the officer and it compromises the agency," said Andrew J. Scott III, a former chief of the Boca Raton (Fla.) Police Department who now consults privately on police policies. "It just doesn't look good."

Posted by Justin Fenton at 4:35 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

Arundel student says man tried to abduct her on way to school

A 15-year-old girl walking to school in Severna Park told police that a man tried to abduct her Monday morning by reaching through a window of his car. The girl broke free of his grasp, Anne Arundel County police said, and she ran to her school.

The incident occurred about 9:30 a.m. on White Oak Drive near Cear Road. The suspect is described as a Hispanic or White male in his 40’s with a dark complexion, medium build and short, dark hair. He was last seen wearing mirrored sunglasses. The vehicle was described as a dark green, older model, two door pick up truck with tinted windows.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Dave Wood or Sergeant Tim Davis with the Criminal Investigation Division at 410-222-3466 or 410-222-3470.

Information on a reward:

Continue reading "Arundel student says man tried to abduct her on way to school" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 3:37 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

Man killed in parking lot of Glen Burnie seafood restaurant

From The Baltimore Sun:

A 25-year-old man died after he was shot Sunday night in the parking lot of Mo's Seafood in Glen Burnie. The Anne Arundel County police department identified the victim as Andrew Michael Johnson of the 100 block of Sloane Drive in Glen Burnie.

According to police, officers responded to a report of a shooting about 10:34 p.m. Sunday outside the seafood restaurant, in the 7100 block of Ritchie Highway. Officers found the victim in the parking lot with a gunshot wound to the upper torso, police said. A fire department crew took him to Harbor Hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Johnson received six months of probation before judgment in a 2007 drug possession case, after he entered an Alford plea — acknowledging there was evidence to convict him but not admitting to the crime, according to court records. In 2009, he was sentenced to a year in jail followed by a year of supervised probation after he pleaded guilty in another drug case, according to court records. Both were in Anne Arundel County.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 1:06 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

November 12, 2011

Police identify victims in mall slayings

Anne Arundel County police have identified the victims and suspect in Friday night's double homicide outside the Arundel Mills mall (read full story here):

On November 11, 2011 at 11:55 p.m., officers responded to the parking lot of the Arundel Mills Mall located at 7000 Arundel Mills Circle in Hanover for a reported double shooting.  Officers arrived and discovered two victims, a male and a female, outside the mall on the parking lot.  Both were pronounced deceased at the scene.  Homicide detectives responded and continue to investigate the case.


Witness information later lead detectives to the 8100 block of Rydal Road in Prince Georges County. At that location, the possible suspect in the case, James Coleman, was shot and killed during an encounter with P.G. County Police. The following is identification information for both victims at Arundel Mills and the suspect.

- Chonsay Laquez Green, male, age 30, of the 4200 block of Torque Street in Capitol Heights, Maryland.
- Jeneen Desiree Dunn, female, age 25, of the 7700 block of Hanover Parkway in Greenbelt, Maryland.

- James Edward Coleman, male, age 22, of the 8100 block of Rydal Road in District Heights, Maryland.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 6:52 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

Man suspected in Arundel mall shootings killed by police

From The Sun's Arthur Hirsch:

The man suspected of fatally shooting two people outside of Arundel Mills mall late Friday was shot and killed in an exchange of gunfire near Capital Heights this morning, Prince George's County police said.

Anne Arundel County Police spokesman Lt. Francis Tewey had said early Saturday that the victims in the mall shooting were a male and a female, but he had no further information about them. He said the incident was "probably not a random act of violence."

The shootings occurred shortly before midnight outside Dave & Buster's restuarant at the mall in Hanover. Few other details of the shootings have been released. Read the full story here.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 2:06 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Breaking news, Crime elsewhere

Victims of shooting at Arundel Mills mall a man, woman, police say

Anne Arundel County police say that the victims of Friday night's shooting outside the Arundel Mills mall in Hanover were a man and woman. Police also said they're searching for a dark silver or gray hybrid SUV seen being driven away from the scene.

Few other details were released, including the identities and ages of the victims. Police did clarify that the shooitng just before midnight occurred outside the mall in a parking lot. A woman who said she saw he aftermath said the crime scene was in front of a Dave & Buster's restaurant. The mall closes at 9:30 p.m. on Friday's but restaurants and the move theater are open later.

Both victims were pronounced dead on the scene. No other details have been released. Arundel Mills is the site of a future casino that is to be the state's largest. Many residents who live at Arundel Mills protested the site as unacceptable.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 9:25 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

Two killed at Arundel Mills Mall

Two people were shot and killed Friday night at the Arundel Mills mall in Anne Arundel County, according to police. Few details were made available this morning, and it was not clear from an initial statement whether the shootings occurred inside or outside the mall.

The address that police provided, 7000 Arundel Mills Circile, is the same for the movie theater. While the mall closes at 9:30 p.m. on Fridays, movies are shown there past midnight. A casino is planned for the mall site as well.

Police said the shootings occurred minutes before midnight and that detectives were searching for a dark silver or gray hybrid Sport Utility Vehicle. Information on the victims, such as their names and ages, were not immediately provided.

Anyone with information is urged to call Anne Arundel County Police at 410-222-8610.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 6:59 AM | | Comments (17)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

November 10, 2011

Anne Arundel police release picture of car speeding away from fatal hit and run

Anne Arundel County police are asking for help identifying the driver of this car and driver who sped away from an accident that killed a tow truck driver who was preparing to hook up a vehicle on Route 100 in August.

Here is a statement from the police:

"On August 24, 2011, at approximately 8:04 a.m., officers responded to the area of Maryland Route 100 and Oakwood Road for a report of a Fatal Hit and Run accident.

The initial investigation revealed that the suspect vehicle was traveling eastbound on MD Rt. 100 in the far right lane (#2 lane), west of Oakwood Rd when it struck a pedestrian, (Ted’s Towing driver) who was near the shoulder of the roadway.

The pedestrian was performing his duties, preparing to tow a vehicle from the shoulder of the road when struck. As a result of the impact pedestrian sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. After the impact, the suspect vehicle fled the area continuing east on MD Rt. 100 exiting onto Oakwood Rd and was captured on film travelling north on Hospital Drive.

Based on evidence recovered at the scene and witness statements, the suspect vehicle has been identified as a 1987 to 1995 Nissan Pathfinder, maroon or burgundy in color. The suspect driver is described as a white male with a thin build in his early to mid 30’s with  crew cut or short brown hair.  

The suspect vehicle involved in this hit-and-run sustained damage to the right front fender area. The right front turn signal and possibly headlight were damaged in the crash. The passenger side mirror was broken from the vehicle during the crash. The vehicle should also be missing a hubcap, similar to the one in the photo. Photos below are of the actual suspect vehicle fleeing the scene.

If Your Tip To The Hotline Leads To The Arrest And Indictment, For This Felony Crime, You May Be Eligible For A Cash Reward Of Up To $2,000 from Metro Crime Stoppers. In addition, a $10,000 private reward has been offered by Ted’s Towing for the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for this crime."

Posted by Peter Hermann at 1:43 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

Police search for man who stole $7,000 necklace from mall

Anne Arundel County police say a man who asked to see a gold necklace at Kay Jewelers at the Marley Station Mall last month grabbed it and ran out of the store without paying. A surveillance camera captured the man, and police are asking for help finding him.

Here's a statement from police:

On October 27, 2011, the above suspect walked into the Kay Jewelers in Marley Station Mall in Glen Burnie, asked to see a 22” men’s gold necklace valued at $7,000 and indicated that he intended to purchase the necklace. When the sales associate retrieved the necklace and brought it to the register, the suspect grabbed it from the sales associate and ran out of the store. Anyone with information on the identity of the suspect is asked to contact Detective B. Cornwell of the Northern District Detective Unit at 410-222-6135 or Metro Crime Stoppers at the following:
If you have information on the above incident, please call, email, or text your tip to Metro Crime Stoppers Hotline Available 24-Hours A Day Toll Free at 1-866-7LOCKUP or Text “MCS plus your message” to CRIMES (274637) or Visit the website Metro Crime Stoppers.
Posted by Peter Hermann at 8:38 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

November 4, 2011

Are the cops looking for his paramour too?

The cops in Arundel said they were looking for an elopee.

This was their chosen word for a guy who bolted from a prison detail. As my colleague John McIntyre over at the Paragraph Factory noted in his You Don't Say blog, this was probably not the best word choice: 

I assume that the police like elopee as a milder version of escapee, a prisoner wandering off from a work detail being less alarming to the public than a hopped-up thug scaling the wall at the Big House as sirens wail and searchlights play over the Yard. And I have no authority to deny them their linguistic innovations.
Posted by Peter Hermann at 7:44 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

November 2, 2011

Feds indict 22 alleged Dead Man Inc. members

Nearly two dozens alleged members of a homegrown prison gang that has spread throughout the country have been indicted on federal racketeering charges that include accusations that they conspired to kill four people, officials announced Wednesday.

Follow this link for the full story.

The alleged Dead Man Inc. members, who refer to themselves as "dawgs" and espouse an anti-government philosophy, used contraband cellphones to direct activities and spread its membership into South Baltimore, eastern Baltimore County, northern Anne Arundel County and at least three other states, authorities said.

Among those charged are the alleged co-founders Perry Roark and James Sweeney. Roark, a Dundalk native who is referred to as the "supreme commander," was charged earlier this year in another murder, days before he was to be released from a 25-year prison term.

"On our streets, this organization has been involved in street robberies, home invasions, property thefts, intimidation, assaults — you name it, they're involved in it," said Randall Jones Sr., an Anne Arundel County police commander. "The northern part of our county has been plagued by these individuals, and this is a major blow to this organization."

The gang formed in the late 1990s. Roark was reportedly close with members of the Black Guerrilla Family, law enforcement officials say, but that gang's rules prohibited him from joining because he is white. With their blessing, officials say he formed a new gang at the Jessup prison that would become an umbrella organization of sorts for other white gangs and performed hits for the BGF.

Posted by Justin Fenton at 4:36 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Gangs, South Baltimore

In case you missed it ...

It was a busy day on Tuesday's crime front. The picture by The Sun's Kenneth K. Lam is from Occupy Baltimore, which is embroiled in security issues (see blurb below).

Catch up on the latest headlines:

Today: Attorneys are scheduled to make closing arguments in the bribery trial of state Sen. Ulysses Currie in federal court. Currie, a Prince George's Democrat, is accused of selling his influence as chairman of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee to do political favors for Shoppers Food Warehouse. Read how the state's power brokers are rallying around Currie, and other stories.

* The man convicted of killing a Towson gas station owner for money apologized Tuesday in Harford County Circuit Court to the victim's family and friends, saying "I'm sorry to the last fiber of my being." The apology came shortly before a jury was to begin deliberating whether Walter P. Bishop Jr. will be sentenced to death or life in prison.

* The Occupy Baltimore protest is now entrenched at the Inner Harbor, but its members are questioning whether they can sustain the movement amid a dwindling number of core leaders and allegations of crime and drug use. Reports that a woman was sexually assaulted in a tent, deemed unfounded by city police, have nevertheless put public safety at the forefront.

* A 52-year-old man died after being shot during a robbery at a carryout restaurant in Better Waverly on Monday night, renewing concerns in the community about the crime connected to the beleaguered business. The Yau Brothers carryout, in the 2900 block of Greenmount Ave., was closed Tuesday, as it was after similar shooting incidents in the past two years: In 2010, 72-year-old security guard Charles Bowman was fatally shot in a robbery there, a year after three men were shot following a fight that broke out inside.

* A former professional basketball player pleaded guilty Tuesday in the pistol whipping of his girlfriend's brother after a dispute at a cookout in Arnold.

* Towson University students and employees were briefly alerted to stay inside Tuesday afternoon, because police were looking for a man with a gun on campus. But the man turned out to be carrying a prop gun for an acting class, said Towson spokeswoman Gay Pinder.

October 27, 2011

Maybe the cops won't notice ...

Leaving the courthouse after having just been tried is not the time to commit another offense.

But that's just what Annapolis police said 45-year-old Angela Gregory of Deale did on Wednesday. She was being tried on a charge of speeding -- 68 in a 50 on Route 258 in southern Anne Arundel -- and for driving on a suspended license.

What did police say she did when she walked out of the courtroom?

You guessed it. Police said she climbed into her car and drove away, on the very same suspended license, in front of the very same cop who had testified at her hearing.

"The officer had been in the courtroom when the judge stated that Gregory’s license to drive was currently suspended," police said in a statement. "Gregory told the judge that her son drove her to the courthouse. After court the officer observed Gregory get in a vehicle and start to drive away, she was stopped and arrested.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 7:14 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

October 19, 2011

Man charged with sexually abusing two teens

Baltimore County police have charged a 22-year-old man with sexually assaulting two teenagers, and authorities said they are concerned there might be more victims.

Henry Sukeforth, of the 8200 block of Quarterfield Road in Severn, in Anne Arundel County, was arrested earlier this month.

Police said one case involves a 14-year-old boy and another a 13-year-old boy.

In both cases, police said they confirmed the youths were involved with sexual activity with the young man.

Police said the suspect had a Facebook page and used the social media site to communicate with the victims.

A full statement from police is below:

Continue reading "Man charged with sexually abusing two teens " »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 11:53 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County

October 14, 2011

Gangs, hats and G-Wall Homies

The South Side Brims, the Bloods gang taken down by the feds on Thursday, worked from one end of the state to the other. Authorities allege a broad scheme that stretched from the Eastern Shore to Western Maryland.

As The Sun's Justin Fenton wrote today, court documents describe a virtual modern-day tutorial in gangs. Along with the allegations of murder, revenge killings, drug running and gun use, federal prosecutors say members used YouTube, Facebook and text messaging to communicate and to boast.

It's a colorful rendition.

They kept meticulous notes and lists of members, including phone numbers, broken down by geographic region. Those who were locked up were called "G-Wall Homies." Those on the street were "G-World Homies."

Alleged gang members threw dues into a kitty to pay expenses, such as bail, firearms and legal bills. They had the Brim Association Blood Application, a list of signs and signals, and the Brim's Concept of War. Many had multiple nicknames -- Squeaky, Redrum, Platinum, Diamond,
Trigger, Ransom, Blaze, Breezy Brim.

Targets were "on the menu." Members went on Facebook, openly talking about their affiliation and posting pictures of meetings.

Leaders, called "hats," had "round table" discussions, once the feds say, to plan on how to gently recruit two members from a rival gang without inciting a war.

They had First Lady's," one of whom kept the books in Salisbury.

The feds said one text message from a First Lady: "Bang Bang Brim Gang Hat Til I Die."

October 13, 2011

Feds indict members of Bloods gang subset

[Note: Embedded video does not appear to be a Maryland Bloods member but was linked to on a Frederick South Side Brim member's YouTube account]

Read the full indictment here.

Two years after police found a gang roster in a Frederick motel room, federal authorities announced Thursday a racketeering indictment charging 35 alleged Bloods gang members with murder, kidnapping and other crimes from Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore — a move they said had "dismantled" the gang.

Authorities say cells of the South Side Brims coordinated gang activity across the state and region, and court documents offer a tutorial on how modern criminal organizations operate, including posting photos and messages on Facebook, and uploading initiation videos on YouTube.

Those indicted are accused of at least one murder in Baltimore, an attempted murder in Wicomico County, a home invasion in Howard County, a kidnapping in Frederick, and witness intimidation in Allegany County, among a host of other alleged crimes.

"Gangs represent the most significant violent crime challenge we face throughout the state of Maryland," said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein, flanked at a Baltimore news conference by police officials from across the state. "We hope these gang indictments send a message to gang members and prospective gang members to get out while you can."

Frederick police chief Kim C. Dine said the case was "extremely significant" for his city, which he said has been conducting gang outreach work in recent years but is not immune to the spreading of gangs. "Sixteen of these gangsters are from Frederick, and it will have a huge impact on the city of Frederick and quality of life," he said.

The alleged leader of the gang was identified as Andre Ricardo Roach, a 34-year-old Prince George's County native. Known as "Redrum," he's accused of leading the gang since 2005 from behind bars at the North Branch Correctional Institute in Cumberland, where he is serving a 50-year sentence for second-degree murder.

Here's an article from the Frederick News Post from March in which a county detective told citizens that the South Side Brims were among several active sets there. 

The list of people charged is after the jump:

Continue reading "Feds indict members of Bloods gang subset" »

October 7, 2011

Teen gets 18 years for pizza delivery murder

A Randallstown teenager who admitted his role in the murder of a pizza deliveryman in Severn was sentenced Thursday to serve 18 years in prison, The Sun's Andrea F. Siegel reports.

Darrius Lynne Bullock, 19, apologized as he stood before Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Paul F. Harris Jr. Bullock told police he helped plan the robbery in December and beat Ghulam Farooq, but did not know that his cousin, Tavon Brown, also 19, was going to stab Farooq after they took less than $100 from him. Police traced the teens through a cellphone they had borrowed to order a pizza and a sub delivered to them in Meade Village. Both teenagers pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Farooq, 46, who lived in Baltimore, was supporting his family in Pakistan, said Kelly Poma, the prosecutor. Harris sentenced Bullock to 30 years in prison, with 12 years suspended. He will be on probation for five years when released.
Posted by Justin Fenton at 10:28 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

September 29, 2011

Man threatens officer with needle, disease, police say

A man suspected of stealing from a drug store in Brooklyn Park Wednesday afternoon threatened an off-duty Anne Arundel County police officer with a needle, according to authorities.

"When confronted, the suspect pulled out a hypodermic syringe, repeatedly stabbed himself with it and threatened to infect the officer with a communicable disease," a statement from police says.

The officer protected himself and the man was caught on Ritchie Highway a short time later. For more details, read the news release from police:

Continue reading "Man threatens officer with needle, disease, police say" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 9:01 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

September 27, 2011

Former track coach faces child porn charges

From The Sun's Andrea Siegel:

A former track coach at Archbishop Spalding High School is facing child pornography charges after Anne Arundel County police said he exchanged sexually explicit photos by cellphone with a 16-year-old student involved with the team.

Brian Timothy Funk, 40, of Pasadena, who was to become a track and field coach at Catholic University of America this month, turned himself in to police Sunday on one count each of allowing a minor to engage in child pornography and displaying an obscene image to a minor.

Charging documents claim that over about five months, Funk and the girl met, kissed and exchanged sexual images, including videos, by cellphone. The girl's father spoke with Archdiocese of Baltimore officials after he saw his daughter and Funk leave a movie theater in Linthicum on July 16 and kiss, the documents allege.

Read the full story here.

Read the statement from Anne Arundel County Police:

Continue reading "Former track coach faces child porn charges" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 7:47 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

September 26, 2011

Milk and cookie crash?

Tweet of the day from the Baltimore fire union:

@BCFDL734: GOT MILK? SB I97closed @ ex15 for an overturned tracto rtrailer hauling 6400 1 gal jugs of milk. Looking for closest cookie truck to respond.

Followed by this one:

@BCFDL734: Milk Truck Update: Police are escorting a Krispy Kreme Truck to the scene to mitigate the hazard. Just kidding fellas @mdfop34
Posted by Peter Hermann at 7:19 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

September 25, 2011

Off-duty Arundel officer thwarts carjacking

An off-duty Anne Arundel County police officer thwarted a carjacking near Arundel Mills Boulevard early Saturday, according to police.

The suspects, including a teenager, were driving a stolen car and got involved in an accident. They ran fromthe scene and carjacked a woman, accoriding to police. But authorities said the suspects didn't know the off-duty police officer was behind them.

Below is a statement from police with more details:

Continue reading "Off-duty Arundel officer thwarts carjacking" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 12:03 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

September 19, 2011

Police identify man found dead in Brooklyn alley

Police have identified a man found dead Friday in an alley in Brooklyn as a 42-year-old Glen Burnie man.

Armando Santiago was found unresponsive at about 6:15 p.m. Friday in an alley in the rear of the 700 block of E. Patapsco Ave. There were no signs of foul play or trauma to his body, but police say an autopsy shows that he had been strangled. 

Santiago was from the 5600 block of Park Rd in Glen Burnie, and police say they didn't have any additional information about the case as detectives investigate. Anyone with information was asked to call 410-396-2100.

Posted by Justin Fenton at 10:52 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, South Baltimore

September 9, 2011

Firefighters rescue people stranded by storm

While everyone was trying to stay dry on Thursday, I spent the day trying to get wet.

I headed down to Severna Park, to the Anne Arundel County Fire Department's Jones station, Company 23, headquarters of the special operations command. Accompanied by Sun photographer Barbara Haddock Taylor (her pic at left), I was trying to get out with a water rescue team on a call.

In the photo, Lt. Jeff Halpern, left, and Firefighter/Paramedic Ronnie Carr await a call. Read The Sun's storm coverage. Read Frank Roylance's weather blog for the latest updates.

The previous 12 to 14 hours had been busy for firefighters here, responding to more an a dozen calls for people trapped in water, most of them after having driven into what at first glance looked like a puddle but was really a small person had died in Pasadena, a person a bit south drove into a sink hole big enough to have swallowed her car, and firefighters got their truck stuck while helping a county police officer, also stranded in the water. In another case, police officers used ropes to rescue a stranded motorists (more details on that later).

More details below:

Continue reading "Firefighters rescue people stranded by storm" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 7:36 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Crime elsewhere

September 7, 2011

Annapolis police make arrest in first murder of 2011

Police have charged Clifton William Tutt, 54, with the Tuesday-morning shooting death of a teenager in Annapolis. It is the city's first homicide in 2011, The Sun's Steve Kilar reports.

Teon Leander Wallace, 19, was shot in his upper torso around 10:30 a.m. in the 1000 block of Monroe St., according to an evening statement by the Annapolis Police Department.

Wallace, of Annapolis, was pronounced dead at the Anne Arundel Medical Center.

Tutt, also from Annapolis, was found near the scene of the shooting, police said. He was interviewed and charged with first- and second-degree murder and weapons violations.

The victim was being sought by police in connection with threatening to shoot a woman in July and for armed robbery in August, the statement said.

Police said they did not yet know the circumstances of the shooting. Tutt is being held without bail, police said.

According to police, there were four homicides in Annapolis last year.
Posted by Justin Fenton at 11:03 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

September 2, 2011

NC rape suspect caught after escaping Annapolis cell

A man charged with kidnapping and rape in North Carolina was caught early today after he escaped from a cell in Annapolis District Court. Bonrick Lee Barksdale, 25, overpowered guards and got out after a judge denied him bail, police said.

Police went on a door-to-door search Thursday. He was found in a hotel in Glen Burnie.

Barksdale, who gave police an Annapolis address, has prior convictions in Maryland and a pending assault charge.

Here are details of his escape and apprehension from Anne Arundel County police:


Continue reading "NC rape suspect caught after escaping Annapolis cell" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 9:36 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

August 30, 2011

Man who faked Black Ops credentials sentenced to 21 months

Quote of the day from federal prosecutor Leo J. Wise, at Tuesday's sentencing of a man who duped law enforcement agencies into thinking they were hiring a retired special ops commander instead got a fraud (read full story here):

“They thought they were getting Black Hawk Down,” Wise said during the hearing in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. “Instead, they got Rambo. They got fiction.”

William G. Hillar, a 66-year-old Millersville man, was sentenced today to 21 months in prison for perpetuating the fraud, which includes lying about his educational background, lying about being in the Army Special Forces and lying about his daughter being kidnapped, enslaved in a sex ring and killed. He claimed his experience to be the basis for the 2008 movie “Taken” starring Liam Neeson.

Here are some more quotes from today's hearing in U.S. District Court in Baltimore:

Continue reading "Man who faked Black Ops credentials sentenced to 21 months" »

August 11, 2011

In case you missed it -- daily police news

In case you missed out on today's paper, here are some police stories to ponder:

Video of Select Lounge shooting released. This is the January shooting where police officers mistook a colleague for a suspect and fatally shot him outside a nightclub. Watch the shooting.

Roommate testifies that the suspect in the killing of Johns Hopkins researcher Stephen Pitcairn confessed to robbing him in Charles Village.

Annapolis teenager pleads guilty to killing toddler.

Nathan Krasnopoler, the Johns Hopkins University student who was struck and critically injured by a car while riding his bicycle along University Parkway in February, died Wednesday morning. A lawyer for the family said the 83-year-old driver who struck Krasnopoler has agreed to forfeit her license. Read Michael Dresser's Getting There blog.

Jurors are expected to begin deliberating this morning in the case of a man charged with killing an informant in a federal drug case. The victim's statement to the FBI was leaked and posted around his Westport neighborhood.

A series of mall robberies in the city, Anne Arundel and Howard Counties are linked, and also connected to a murder in Baltimore.

A Baltimore drug dealer is sentenced to 15 years in prison for his involvement in a fatal hit and run crash.

A Glen Burnie man was fatally stabbed and his female companion is being held in her death.

August 10, 2011

Glen Burnie man stabbed to death

A Glen Burnie man has died from his wounds after a stabbing Tuesday inside his home, and Anne Arundel County police have identified a woman who lived with him as the suspect.

James Gray Pfaff Jr., 47, of the unit block of Fifth Ave. in Glen Burnie, died Wednesday from stab wounds to the upper torso, county police said in a news release. Investigators have identified Phyllis Marie Amonica, 38, of the same address, as the suspect. The case is being investigated as a domestic incident, police said. Charges have not been filed.

According to police, officers from the Northern District responded to a call about a domestic dispute at the residence about 8:27 p.m. Tuesday. They found a man suffering from a stab wound to the torso and a woman suffering from minor cuts. Both were taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where Pfaff died Wednesday morning.

Posted by Justin Fenton at 2:20 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

Give up your beer!

A word of warning -- give up your beer!

Annapolis police reported this morning:

Robbery – 700 block of Annapolis Neck Rd – 8/10 at 12:28am:  A victim was attacked for refusing to give up his beer.  After he refused, Gerald Jones, a 46 year old male from Annapolis repeatedly struck the victim in the head with a rock and stick and then fled the scene.  Jones was quickly located by police.  Gerald Jones is charged with Armed Robbery, 1st and 2nd Degree Assault, and Reckless Endangerment.  He is currently being held at the Anne Arundel County Detention Center on $500,000.

Police, unfortunately, don't say what kind of beer was involved.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 8:16 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

August 8, 2011

Annapolis officer indicted in fatal car crash

A former Annapolis and Baltimore police officer is facing manslaughter and drunk-driving charges in a car crash that left one man dead.

James Salyers, 52, of Gambrills, was indicted last week by a Baltimore grand jury in the October death of Andrew Arnold-McCoy 19, of Glen Burnie, according to court records. He is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 9 in Baltimore City Circuit Court.

Charges against Salyers in the 10-count indictment include running a red light and speeding, according to court records. Reached by telephone, Salyers referred calls to his lawyer, Andrew I. Alperstein.

"The fault of the accident remains very much in dispute," Alperstein said. "There is evidence that refutes the state's theory of the case." He declined to discuss details.

Alperstein said his client retired from Baltimore city police as a detective before going to work with Annapolis Police Department and had a "long career of helping other people." Salyers had spent the last eight of his 28 ½ years with the Baltimore department in the executive protection detail for Mayors Martin O'Malley, Sheila Dixon and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, according to Alperstein.

Salyers, who had joined the Annapolis Police Department in late August 2010, resigned Aug. 1, 2011, said Sgt. Beth Nelson, a spokeswoman for the Annapolis department. He had been on administrative duty since the crash.

In 2008, according to a report at the time, Salyers traveled to Egypt on a city-funded "economic development" trip with Dixon. 

Posted by Justin Fenton at 3:41 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, South Baltimore

Crofton shooting leaves man critically injured

A dispute between two groups at a Crofton house party probably led to the shooting early Sunday of a 22-year-old man, police told The Sun's Andrea F. Siegel.

Anne Arundel County police said officers responded to calls of shots fired outdoors about 2:22 a.m. in the area of Judicial Way and Lower Court — near Route 424 and Reidel Road. Witnesses told police that a man was helped into a vehicle, which drove away.

Police said the 22-year-old was at a party on Lower Court before the shooting. He was involved with one of the two groups of people with a dispute, but spokesman Justin Mulcahy said Monday the nature of the argument was not immediately known.

"There is a lot of follow-up investigation to conduct here," Mulcahy said. "The investigation is ongoing."

Posted by Justin Fenton at 12:20 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

August 7, 2011

Man fatally shoots three, then self in Anne Arundel

[Photo by Sun photographer Barbara Haddock Taylor]

Update: Read complete story with victims' names here.

Anne Arundel County police say a male fatally shot himself and three others, including two juveniles, in a house in Brooklyn Park this morning. Police, called by the man's mother who said her son sent a troubling email, were outside when the final gunshot was heard.

Police have just released the following statement:

Continue reading "Man fatally shoots three, then self in Anne Arundel " »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 2:28 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

August 2, 2011

National Night Out

National Night Out has become a big community event, getting residents and cops together to take back the streets. Below is a list of events in the city and the counties, scheduled for today, Aug. 2

National Night outs:

Baltimore City

Baltimore County

Harford County

Anne Arundel County

Howard County

I could only find one in Carroll County, in Eldersburg. Here is a link to details. If anyone knows of more here, please let me know and I'll post.

July 25, 2011

Cops tally up offenses at Bumper Bash

Bumper Bash on the Magothy River this weekend drew hundreds of revelers, and man cops worried about a repeat of last year's fights, rowdy behavior and drunks on the water. But the party on the river turned out relatively tame.

Here, from Outdoors Girl Candus Thomson, is a summary of people who behaved badly:

The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) responded to several incidents at Saturday’s Bumper Bash at Dobbins Island in the Magothy River. The event was attended by an estimated 2,000 to 2,500 people with approximately 500 vessels.

NRP and Anne Arundel County Police responded to 14 fights/ disorderly situations, arrested three for operating a vessel while intoxicated and one on an outstanding warrant. NRP also charged one with theft and charged two with underage possession of an alcoholic beverage. Officers issued 59 citations and gave out 44 warnings.

The Anne Arundel County Fire department responded to ten medical incidents where three were transported to area medical centers for minor injuries.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 4:36 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

July 18, 2011

Man arrested after police chase to Arundel Mills Mall

From Baltimore and Maryland State police:

Multiple criminal and traffic charges are being filed this afternoon against a suspect who is under arrest and a Baltimore Police officer is undergoing treatment for what are believed to be non-life threatening injuries after a late morning police pursuit down the Baltimore Washington Parkway ended at an Anne Arundel County mall.

The accused is identified as Darin L. Sympton, Jr., 22, of Brooklyn Park, MD. He is being charged with possession with intent to distribute both heroin and marijuana, possession of both heroin and marijuana, fleeing and eluding, resisting arrest, multiple counts of assault, driving on a suspended/revoked license, and other traffic charges. After processing, he will be taken before a court commissioner for an initial bond hearing later tonight.

The officer from the Baltimore Police Department who was injured was involved in a single vehicle traffic crash during the pursuit. He was transported by ambulance to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

More details:

Continue reading "Man arrested after police chase to Arundel Mills Mall" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 3:37 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

July 8, 2011

Arundel cops bust suspected prostitute at BWI area hotel

The hotels and motels around BWI Marshall Airport are frequently used by prostitutes, as anyone monitoring police reports out of Anne Arundel County can attest. Here are some details on the latest arrest:

"On July 7, 2011, at approximately 10:30 p.m., members of the Anne Arundel County Police Department’s Vice Unit executed a search and seizure warrant on a hotel room located in the motel/hotel district in Linthicum, Maryland. The execution of the search warrant was the result of numerous complaints of prostitution taken place at the hotel.

"During surveillance conducted on the hotel, detectives were able to stop a client as he left the hotel and conduct an interview. The subject indicated that he responded to an ad located on Baltimore The male client revealed that he paid money for an appointment with a female in exchange for sexual favors. During the execution of the search and seizure warrant, several condoms were located in the room along with four cell phones, prepaid credit card receipts, prepaid credit cards along with U.S. currency. The female subject located in the hotel room was charged with Prostitution by Any Means and Assignation by Any Means."

Suspect: Naomi L. Mason, 23, of 11504 Sheffield Street, Oklahoma City, Okla.   

Posted by Peter Hermann at 9:40 AM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

July 6, 2011

Parkway reopened, police still seek attacker

Maryland State Police have reopened all lanes of the Baltimore Washington Parkway but are continuing to seek a person who took a hammer to a speed enforcement vehicle. The man also had a shotgun, but police said no shots were fired.

Still, the incident shut down for hours a major highway between Baltimore and Washington, creating havoc on the roadways, and sent heavily armored police to the highway and roads near BWI Airport. An empty BW Parkway is seen above, in a picture by The Sun's Jed Kirschbaum.

The latest update from Maryland State Police:

Continue reading "Parkway reopened, police still seek attacker " »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 7:30 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

BW Parkway still shut and police hunt man who attacked worker with hammer

An update from Sun reporters Mike Dresser and Julie Baughman on the scene unfolding on the Baltimore Washington Parkway near BWI (police now say no gunshots fired (picture of closed Parkway by The Sun's Jed Kirschbaum):

A man with a hammer and a gun attacked a speed enforcement vehicle  on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway near the exit leading to BWI Marshall airport this morning, prompting police to close down all lanes of the highway, according to law enforcement authorities.

While the assailant was armed, police disputed early reports of gunfire.

Maryland State Police spokesman Gregory M. Shipley said the attack occurred about 11:30 a.m. in the southbound lanes near I-195. He said an older man came out of the woods and approached a  parked State Highway Administration Jeep being operated by a speed enforcement contractor. Shipley said the man tapped on the rear window with a hammer before yelling incoherently and then striking the windshield with the hammer.

More details:

Continue reading "BW Parkway still shut and police hunt man who attacked worker with hammer" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 2:17 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

Search for armed suspect shuts down I-295 in AA County

An update on the investigation that has shut down I-295, just sent out by Maryland State Police:

Maryland State Police and Anne Arundel County Police are searching for an armed suspect in the area of I-295 and Rt. 195 in Anne Arundel County.  I-295 is currently closed in both directions at Rt 195.

Calls to police began shortly before 11:30 a.m. today reporting a man armed with a long gun (shotgun or rifle) along the highway at that location.  It is not known if shots were fired.  It is believed the suspect may have used a hammer to break out windows of a vehicle parked near the location.  No one has been injured .

The suspect is described as a white male, between 50-60 yrs old, wearing a black and red flannel shirt and blue jeans.

State and county police have established a command post at 295/195.  A search is underway with K-9, helicopters and police officers on foot.    

Posted by Justin Fenton at 12:47 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Breaking news

July 1, 2011

Christopher Jones' killers getting out of jail

Christopher Jones, 14 got caught up in a gang dispute that he wasn't a part of, got punched while riding his bicycle near his home, fell off and died. He lived in Crofton.

The cases heightened awareness of suburban gangs and revealed flaws in how schools officials, who knew about a gang problem, failed to tell police because of privacy concerns. Now, just two years later, Christopher's killers are getting out of jail.

The Sun's Andrea Siegel reports today that the second of two teens, found responsible for manslaughter in juvenile court, is set to be released and put on supvervised probation. The other was freed earlier this month. Picture of the crime scene is by The Sun's Amy Davis.

Christopher's mom, Jennifer Adkins, had this reaction: "Two years for killing somebody? That's a joke."

The parents have been on a crusade of late; in May, the Anne Arundel County Sheriff's Department did a warrant sweep in their honor.

Read Andrea's complete story here.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 7:28 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

June 28, 2011

Guns, lawn care equipment seized in AA County

Anne Arundel County Police are searching for the owners of thousands of dollars worth of tools, lawn equipment and guns that were discovered during a search of a Lothian home where two people were arrested, The Sun's Liz F. Kay reports.

Police detectives have been investigating a tip received in May that a resident in the 1100 block of Mount Zion Marlboro Road had been dealing drugs and accepting stolen goods as payment, according to a police spokesman.

Among the 180 items found in the home and detached sheds on the property include a U-Haul car dolly, 49 long guns, snow blowers, generators, power washers, weed eaters, leaf blowers, chain saws, power drills, circular saws, concrete saws, nail guns and fishing rods.

Posted by Justin Fenton at 11:27 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

June 23, 2011

Suspicious suspect cleared in child stalking case

Earlier this month, Anne Arundel County police were investigating complaints about a white van or minivan with a male driver who was seen trying to lure a 9-year-old child into a van, and then pulling up next to a 12-year-old boy on a bicycle.

The incidents occurred June 16 in the Sherwood Forest section of Arundel and later that same day near Shipley's Choice Elementary School.

Today, police released a statement saying they found the van and the driver, and cleared him in the case. They said the two incidents were unrelated and coincidental. Police "determined that the operator of the vehicle was in the community conducting legitmate business." Authorities said they could not verify that the driver talked to the child and could not "substantiate that there was any criminal intent behind the driver's actions that day."

Statemente from Anne Arundel County Police:

Continue reading "Suspicious suspect cleared in child stalking case" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 8:57 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

June 20, 2011

Corrections officers attacked

An officer at a prison in Jessup suffered a broken jaw and cheekbone during an attack by an inmate, and another officer at the Baltimore City jail was sexually assaulted by a detainee, according to state prison officials.

The first assault occurred Monday at the Maryland Correctional Institution at Jessup. Authorities said the officer was trying to move an inmate from one housing unit to another about 2:20 p.m. when he was hit. It took six to eight other officers using Mace to subdue the inmate, officials said.

On Saturday, prison officials said a correctional officer at the Baltimore City Detention Center reported being sexually assaulted by a detainee. Authorities said an investigation is underway and a person of interest is being questioned. No further details were released.

The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services reports that serious assaults by inmates on officer has fallen over the past few years, with down 50 percent since 2007. Attacks involving sexual offenses are down 35 percent during that same period.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 6:49 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Confronting crime, Downtown, Prisons

June 17, 2011

Man tries to lure child into van near Annapolis

A man driving a white van near Annapolis tried on Thursday to lure a 9-year-old child inside, telling the boy that he wanted to take pictures, according to Anne Arundel County police. Authorities believe the same van was seen outside Shipley's Choice Elementary School on the same day.

Police are warning parents and children to never enter a vehicle with a stranger.

The first incident occurred Thursday about noon when a man approached a boy on Robin Hood Hill in Sherwood Forest. "The male driver requested that the child enter the van so that he could take pictures of the child."

Police sad the child did not get in, but that the grandmother saw the van leave the area, and that it had dark lettering ont he side referring to a carpet business. The driver was described only as a white male.

Later Thursday, police said a 12-year-old boy riding his bicycle near the school reported that a van pulled up next to him and that a front-seat passenger rolled down the window slightly. The driver of the van drove off, apparently without saying anything.

The youth described the vehicle as a minivan with tinted rear windows and driving by a white or Hispanic male with short to medium length hair.

Anyone with information is urged to call Anne Arundel County Police at 410-222-6155.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 9:57 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

June 15, 2011

Police say father stabs two daughters, mother

Police in Anne Arundel County have been investigating a multiple stabbing in Crofton that left a family injured (picture of crime scene by The Sun's Barbara Haddock Taylor).

The Sun's Steve Kilar and Andrea Siegel report:

Shortly after 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, county officers and Fire Department rescue crews responded to a telephone call from one of the daughters saying that she, her mother and sister were stabbed by their father, police said. According to neighbors, the mother was brought out from the home in a pressurized suit, and the daughters were in better condition.

Police with dogs searched the area for the 49-year-old father. He was found about 7:30 a.m. in the woods behind the townhouse complex, in the 2400 block of Chelmsford Drive. Police said they had yet to determine if his injuries were self-inflicted.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 3:15 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

June 10, 2011

Accident leaves 3-year-old dead; police say toddler was sitting on aunt's lap in speeding car

A 16-year-old speeding along a winding road.

A 3-year-old sitting in his aunt's lap, in the back seat, with a seat belt wrapped around both.

Occupants screaming for the teen to slow down.

This is the scenario described by Anne Arundel County police after a car filled with teens and the child crashed into a tree Wednesday night in Hanover, just north of Patapsco Valley State Park. The toddler died.

Police and prosecutors are still investigating the deadly crash. The picture from The Sun's Gene Sweeney Jr. shows the skid marks, painted blue by police investigators, and the tree alongside Ridge Road, near the Elkridge Furnace Inn.

Here is the full story by The Sun's Liz Kay, and the full statement by Anne Arundel County police follows:

Continue reading "Accident leaves 3-year-old dead; police say toddler was sitting on aunt's lap in speeding car" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 7:21 AM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

June 9, 2011

Serial armed robberies investigated in Arundel

Anne Arundel County police arrested two suspects in an armed robbery of a Severna Park pizza shop, and are trying to link them to a series of other holdups:

On June 7, 2011, at approximately 8:34 p.m., officers from the Eastern District responded to the Carini’s Pizza located in the 100 block of Ritchie Highway in Severna Park for a report of an armed robbery.

Upon arrival, officers spoke with employees, who indicated that a male suspect entered the business armed with a shotgun and announced the robbery. A store employee complied by handing over an undisclosed amount of personal money to the suspect, who fled the business and entered a waiting Chevy Camaro being operated by a female suspect. The vehicle was observed fleeing west on Earleigh Heights towards Light Street.

Suspect #1: Robert Lee Thomas, Jr., 30, of 3 Maple Avenue, Pasadena, Md.
Suspect #2: Carrie Marie Bryan, 29, of 104 Garrett Road, Glen Burnie, Md.

Details on other incidents, from a police statement:

Continue reading "Serial armed robberies investigated in Arundel" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 10:56 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

June 7, 2011

Severna Park man charged in shooting pit pull

An Anne Arundel County man has been charge with a firearms violation and animal cruelty after police said he shot his Severna Park neighbor’s pit bull that had “aggressively” barked and growled at him.

Police said the shooting occurred about 6:30 p.m. Saturday in the 300 block of Benfield Road. “The male subject reported that the dog was aggressively barking and growling at him,” police said in a statement. The man pulled out a gun and shot the dog once, police said.

The dog ran away and later died. Charles McConnell Jr., 39, of the 300 block of Benfield Road, was charged with discharging a firearm in a residential area and animal cruelty, both misdemeanors.

Police said prosecutors are reviewing the case and that the investigation continues.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 4:16 PM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

June 6, 2011

Man shoots pitbull in Severn; dog attack in city

Anne Arundel County police are investigating the fatal shooting of a pit bull in Severn. It apparently occurred during a fight between two dogs, and the man who opened fire said the only way to stop it was by using gunfire.

And authorities in the city are investigating a pit bull attack on an elderly woman in Southeast Baltimore's Greektown neighborhood. The dog has been quaranteened until the investigation is complete. We don't have an immediate update on the woman's condition.

Meanwhile, Tricia Bishop reports that one of the twins accused of setting fire to a pit bull two years ago has been arrested again and charged with drup possession. The animal cruelty trial ended with a hung jury and is to be tried again.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 8:37 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Southeast Baltimore

June 1, 2011

Police identify woman found dead in Leakin Park

City police today are identifying the woman found shot to death in Leakin Park on Sunday night.

Lois Smyth, 40, who was also known as Lois Vance, was found by a jogger in the 3900 block of Windsor Mill Road, between the Gwynns Falls Trail and a stream, police say. Smyth was from the 400 block of W. Maple Road in Linthicum, and had no criminal record.

Police are interviewing people of interest and have a motive, though it was not disclosed for investigative reasons. According to The Sun's homicide map, Smyth is the fifth female killed in Baltimore this year, and just the second white victim out of 83 victims.

On Facebook, friends of Smyth were organizing a candlelight vigil at Old Mill Senior High School for Thursday night.

Police also provided names for two other recent victims of fatal gun violence:  Fareed Abdullah, 28, of the 8600 block of Pine Road in Jessup, was identified as the man shot while sitting in a vehicle on Saturday morning in Northwest Baltimore, while Maurice Gray, 35, of the 800 block of Bradhurst Dr., was identified as the man shot and killed Tuesday night in the 700 block of E. Eager St.

Posted by Justin Fenton at 10:24 AM | | Comments (11)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Southwest Baltimore

Arundel police seek bank robber

Anne Arundel County police are seeking help identifying a bank robbery suspect who held up a 1st Mariner Bank on May 6. Police said the man walked in to the branch in the 1600 block of Annapolis Road in Odenton about 11:15 a.m.

Police said the man walked up to a teller, "announced a bank robbery and gave verbal commands.

 The suspect brought a bag into the bank with him and had the bank teller put the bank money in the bag." Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Clifford Van Hoesen of the Robbery Unit at 410-222-3469 (3566) or Metro Crime Stoppers.

Continue reading "Arundel police seek bank robber" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 9:08 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

May 30, 2011

Man fatally stabbed, drives into Arundel ice cream shop

A man who died after crashing his vehicle into a tree and hitting three people Sunday night in Glen Burnie had been stabbed prior to the accident, police said today.

Lamonte Tracey Sherman, 39, of the 300 block of Stephens Circle in Aberdeen, was driving from Americana Circle onto Ritchie Highway about 10 p.m. when he apparently lost control of his car, a green 2006 Dodge Magnum station wagon, Anne Arundel County police said.

Police earlier had said the vehicle jumped the curb and struck a tree, then hit two people in the parking lot of Ann's Dari Crème, who received only minor injuriies. Lt. John McAndrew, a police spokesman, said Monday afternoon that the vehicle struck a table outside the eatery at which a 15-year-old girl was sitting with her family before continuing on to strike the tree.

Read more here.

Posted by Justin Fenton at 9:09 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

May 28, 2011

Arundel cops target handicap parking abusers

Despite what numerous drivers running errands on Saturday afternoon seemed to believe, a handicapped parking permit is not a family pass for choice parking.

At the Glen Burnie Wal-Mart, Cpl. Eric Trumbauer snagged two such drivers at once. One woman, teary-eyed and apologetic, said she used her husband’s handicapped placard because she was only running in to get dog food. The other, 31-year-old Trina Mendez, was less remorseful.

“There’s nowhere to [expletive] park,” Mendez said, her painted toenails resting in the window as Trumbauer wrote a $140 citation.

Lavona Arnold could only shake her head at the situation. Arnold is 70,and, as she puts it, has “two bad knees and two bad feet.” She leaned on a shopping cart, her cane hooked inside, and walked by the cars shaking her head.

“I had to park all the way down there,” she said. “You think that’s not disgusting? By the time I walk from there up to here, I’m ready to turn around and go back. They think they can get away with it. [They say,] ‘My grandmother has a handicap. I’m going to use it. They won’t catch me.’”

Anne Arundel County police have been cracking down on such violations as part of an initiative called Operation HIDE, or Handicap ID Enforcement. Cpl. Nicholas DiPietro, a 15-year veteran and the traffic enforcement coordinator for the county’s Northern Police District, has heard every excuse in the book.

Posted by Justin Fenton at 6:37 PM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

May 26, 2011

Reputed Dead Man Inc. gang leader faces life without parole

Anne Arundel County prosecutors will seek life in prison without parole for Perry Roark, a reputed founder and leader of the violent prison gang Dead Man Inc., who was recently charged with first-degree murder in the 1994 death of another prisoner, The Sun's Andrea Siegel reports.

Roark, 42, a muscular man with a long ponytail, was notified Thursday in Anne Arundel County Circuit court during a hearing to set his trial date, of the possibility that he will never be freed. A trial was scheduled to start March 26, 2012, and is expected to take two weeks.

“We look forward to a fair and speedy trial and the vindication of our client,” said Assistant Public Defender Michael Morrissette.

Roark was to have been released from 25 years in prison several months ago, worrying law enforcement officials, who blocked his freedom with the murder charges. DMI has spread outside Maryland prisons in the Baltimore area as well as outside the state. Dissension among the mostly white membership led to permitting members to exit in April 2009 without penalty.

Before his expected release from prison several months ago, Roark was indicted in the beating death of inmate George Hartman, who was officials say was fatally beaten in the now-closed Maryland House of Correction.

Posted by Justin Fenton at 2:07 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Gangs, Prisons

May 25, 2011

Arundel police seek gas station robber

From Anne Arundel County Police:

On May 22, 2011, at approximately 9:33 p.m., officers from the Eastern District responded to the Shell gas station located in the 300 block of Hospital Drive in Glen Burnie for a report of a robbery. 

A male suspect entered the business, displayed a shotgun and demanded the money from the drawer. The clerk complied with the demands and turned over an undisclosed amount of money to the suspect, who then fled the store on foot.

The suspect was described as a white male in his early to mid 20’s, approximately 5’5”-5’7”, 150-170 pounds and clean shaven, wearing a black bandana on his head, black sunglasses, blue jeans, black gloves, a black, zip-up sweatshirt with a hood an unknown graphics on the front.

Anyone with information on the incident or suspect is urged to contact Detective Wills of the Robbery Unit at 410-222-3432(3566) or call 410-222-8610.

You can also call, email, or text your tip to Metro Crime Stoppers Hotline Available 24-Hours A Day Toll Free at 1-866-7LOCKUP or Text “MCS plus your message” to CRIMES (274637).

Posted by Peter Hermann at 9:01 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

May 24, 2011

Man arrested in Arundel bank robbery

Anne Arundel County police quickly arrested a suspected bank robber Monday morning after a brief chase in Glen Burnie.

Police said the man armed with a handgun threatened a teller at the Carrollton Bank in the 400 block of Crain Highway shortly before 10 a.m.

The female teller told police that she gave the man money and that he fled. Officers then located the suspect driving a green pick-up truck northbound on Ritchie Highway.

He bailed from the car and was caugh after a foot chase near Stranden and Norland roads in Baltimore City.

Randall Paul Shreve, 43, of the 1400 block of Northshire Road in Baltimore, was charged with armed robbery, felony theft and five counts of second-degree assault.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 9:21 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

May 11, 2011

Annapolis church leader's wife found dead in North Baltimore

The 66-year-old wife of a prominent Annapolis church leader has been identified as the woman whose body was found partially submerged under the Jones Falls Expressway in North Baltimore last week.

Police were called Friday morning to the 1800 block of Union Ave., just west of the highway in the Woodberry neighborhood, in the Jones Falls, where they found the body of Emma Eileen Baltimore, of Pasadena. There were no obvious signs of trauma to her body, and police were continuing to investigate.

Baltimore was the wife of senior bishop Wilbert L. Baltimore, of the King's Apostle Holiness Church of God, which according to a 2000 article includes 20 churches in seven states. He was also a longtime administrator in the Anne Arundel County school system.

Anne Arundel County police spokesman Justin Mulcahy said Baltimore had been reported missing May 4 after her vehicle was located about two miles away from where her body was eventually found, in the 4900 block of Falls Road. Her relatives told police that she suffered from mental problems and had spent time in a Baltimore-area facility multiple times in the past year, city police spokesman Donny Moses said.

Continue reading "Annapolis church leader's wife found dead in North Baltimore" »

Posted by Justin Fenton at 4:11 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, North Baltimore

Glen Burnie man gets 10 years for child sex trafficking

A 43-year-old Glen Burnie man was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for child sex trafficking, after a missing 12-year-old called relatives from an Anne Arundel County motel room and said she had been "recruited" into prostitution.

Derwin Samuel Smith's sentence also includes 20 years of supervised release, according to federal prosecutors:

According to his plea agreement, on June 7, 2010, members of the Maryland Human Trafficking task Force recovered a 12 year old girl who had been reported missing and was believed to be involved in prostitution, from a motel room in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.  The child had called a relative from the motel room and investigation revealed that the room was registered to Smith. The child told the officers that Smith had said that he would be back later that evening to have sex with her. 

The child was taken to police headquarters and further identified Smith as the person who had picked her up on the street in Washington, DC, paid for sexual services performed in the backseat of his car and recruited her to work for him as a prostitute.  Smith had then driven the girl to Atlantic, City New Jersey where at Smith’s direction, men paid to have sex with her over the weekend.  The child gave Smith all of the money.

Continue reading "Glen Burnie man gets 10 years for child sex trafficking" »

Posted by Justin Fenton at 12:57 PM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

April 28, 2011

Shoes part of settlement in Crofton teen's death

The Sun's Andea F. Siegel reports this unusual development in a civil case:

The parents of a teen killed in Crofton were handed a pair of new athletic shoes Wednesday as part of the settlement of a civil lawsuit over their son's death. The shoes had belonged to a youth accused of having a role in the death of Christopher Jones in 2009.

"I saw him in brand new shoes, and I thought he's got a lot of nerve coming in here with brand new shoes and he's saying he has no money," said Jennifer Adkins, whose 14-year-old son, Christopher Jones, had been riding his bike home when youth gang members in western Anne Arundel County punched him in the face in May 2009, leading to his death.

She suggested, during a settlement conference of the family's civil lawsuit against the six teenagers, that he hand over the shoes that he appeared to be so proud of.

"I wanted him to walk out of the courthouse in his socks and be embarrassed and humiliated. He can say Chris Jones' mother took the shoes off my feet," Adkins said. Her request surprised the retired judge who was holding the settlement conference.

But soon, the Jones' family's lawyer, Richard Jaklitsch, was holding the shoes. "It was the first time in my 28 years of practicing law that this has happened," he said.

Read the full story here.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 2:45 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

April 27, 2011

Arundel police, barricaded man exchange gunfire

A man fired shots at a police officer around 5 a.m. Wednesday from a home in Glen Burnie as officers responded to the residence for earlier reports of a gunshot, Anne Arundel police said.

The officer, a 17-year-veteran of the force, returned fire and took cover as officers from the Special Operations Section and Crisis Negotiations Unit surrounded the home, in the 100 block of Oak Spring Drive, just off Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard. Negotiators convinced a man inside the home to surrender at around 7:45 a.m.

The man was wearing body armor when he was taken into custody, police said, and no one was injured during the incident.

Police believe the man may have fired multiple shots at a home located behind the one on Oak Spring Drive, which prompted the initial call to police.

-Yeganeh June Torbati

Posted by Justin Fenton at 11:30 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Police shootings

April 20, 2011

Ex-NBA center charged with pistol-whipping man in Arnold

Former NBA player Oliver Miller has been arrested on charges that he pistol-whipped a man at a cookout near his Maryland home, the Associated Press reported.

The 41-year-old Miller was taken into custody Wednesday morning.

Anne Arundel County police say they responded to a barbecue in Arnold on Monday night after a man reported being struck in the face and head by a pistol. Police say Miller drove off and was arrested at his home in Edgewater on Wednesday morning.

Miller was the 22nd pick in the 1992 NBA draft out of Arkansas and played for a half-dozen teams in nine seasons.
Posted by Justin Fenton at 4:26 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

Member of Arundel exec security detail testifies

An Anne Arundel County police officer who serves on County Executive John R. Leopold's security detail testified Tuesday before a grand jury, the officer's lawyer said, as the Maryland state prosecutor's investigation into Leopold continues.

Officer Mark Walker, a full-time member of the five-person detail, was subpoenaed to appear in the county courthouse on Church Circle, his attorney, Anton L. Iamele, confirmed as the two men left the grand jury room in State's Attorney Frank Weathersbee's offices around 2 p.m.

Walker was among three of the officers subpoenaed for an appearance in March, but he did not testify that day, Iamele said. Walker had no comment.

Investigators are looking into whether Leopold used county police officers on his security detail to do campaign work. The president of the county firefighters union has said a member of Leopold's detail picked up a $4,000 check from the firefighters' political action committee, an incident that he said investigators asked him about
Posted by Justin Fenton at 1:41 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Courts and the justice system

Three charged with stealing candy

Alert Anne Arundel County officers who stopped people driving through a school parking lot without headlights after midnight this morning found a cache of candy and sports drinks taken from a school concession stand.

The car had been in the parking lot of Old Mill High School about 12:10 a.m., and police said the officer saw the contraband inside. "It was determined that the suspects had been involved in burglarizing the concession stand on the high school’s playing field," a statement from police said.

Three were arrested adn two were charged as adults with theft, fourth degree burglary, trespassing and malicious destruction of property. One suspect was charged as a juvenile with the same offenses. Approximately $300 in concessions were recovered and returned to a school representative.

Police identified the suspects as:

Suspect #1: Michael Aaron Hicks, 18, of 7919 Carriage Drive, Severn, Md.
Suspect #2: Nathaniel Matthew Stevenson, 18, of 7805 Winbourne Lane Apartment F, Glen Burnie, Md.
Suspect #3: 16-year-old male from Hanover 

Posted by Peter Hermann at 8:04 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

April 19, 2011

Searching for clues in Arundel teacher killing

The Anne Arundel County NAACP and county police are appealing for help in the killing of a 63-year-old retired teacher found shot to death in her vehicle parked in a shopping center parking lot.

On Jan. 28, before 11 a.m., officers were called for a report of a sick/injured person in the 7300 block of Ritchie Highway, the parking lot of the Pep Boys and Gavigan's furniture store. In the vehicle, Myra Elizabeth Cason was suffering from a gunshot wound to her upper body.

Here's an update from county police:

This incident remains an active homicide investigation. Investigators have conducted interviews, collected evidence to be analyzed, consulted with other jurisdictions to determine if there were any incidents similar in nature and have reviewed and monitored law enforcement databases in an effort to identify a possible suspect.

On April 25, 2011, at approximately 6:30 p.m., the Anne Arundel County Branch of the NAACP is holding a planned gathering in the parking lot where the homicide took place in the 7300 block of Ritchie Highway in Glen Burnie, Maryland. Detectives from the Homicide Unit will be present to hand out informational fliers and to continue to seek information from the public regarding this incident. Anyone with any information on this crime is asked to contact Detective Regina Gow of the Homicide Unit at 410-222-3417 or the Anne Arundel County Police Department at 410-222-8610.

Posted by Justin Fenton at 10:22 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

April 15, 2011

Anne Arundel police arrest suspect in mall shooting

Anne Arundel County police have arrested a Silver Spring man in the March 29 shooting in the parking lot of the Marley Station Mall on Ritchie Highway in Glen Burnie. Police said that the suspect and victim, 23-year-old Rickey Johnson of Snow Hill, had been arguing.

Two friends of the victim drove the wounded man to a nearby Dunkin Donuts and called police, who put out a lookout for two men in a dark gray Honda. Anne Arundel County police described the shooting as "drug related" and that the mall parking lot was picked as "meeting point."

The suspect was identified as Christopher Royal Gayle, 22, of the 1700 block of Mount Pisgah Lane in Silver Spring (pictured at left). Police said he was arrested at his Montgomery County house and hcarged with attempted first and second-degree murder, using a handgun in the commission of a felony and illegal possession of a handgun. Police said they are still trying to identify the second suspect.



Posted by Peter Hermann at 9:19 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

April 8, 2011

Arundel robbery victims turn tables on suspects

Anne Arundel County police say the victims of an attempted armed robbery in Pasadena turned the tables on their attackers.

Police officers responded at 8 p.m. Thursday to the 200 block of Mountain Road, where they saw a suspect being detained on the property. The victims told police that they were in a garage when two suspects approached, one of them displaying a handgun, and demanding money. A 38-year-old male relative and a 26-year-old female relative came from inside the residence and chased after the suspects, who were trying to flee. A "struggle" ensued, and they managed to hold down the suspect until police arrived. Officers detained a second suspect.

Charged are Delonte Preston Thomas, 20, of the 8900 block of Oakwood Way in Laurel, and Paul Rashon Atterberry, 17, of the 9200 block of Steeple Court in Laurel. Atterberry, who was charged as an adult, is pictured above, displaying what appear to be the after effects of the "struggle." Click to enlarge

Posted by Justin Fenton at 12:03 PM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

Court to look at death penalty

From The Sun's Andrea Siegel:

Maryland's highest court is scheduled to take its first look at the state's new death penalty law today, when lawyers for a prisoner accused of murdering a correctional officer argue that prosecutors should have to convince a judge that they have the evidence now required for a capital case.

The controversial 2009 changes to the death penalty law restrict prosecutors' authority to seek execution for first-degree murder convictions only in crimes in which there is DNA or other biological evidence, a videotaped confession or a video recording of the crime.

Lawyers for Lee Edward Stephens, 31, said Anne Arundel County prosecutors indicated that biological or DNA evidence ties Stephens to the July 2006 fatal stabbing of David McGuinn.

McGuinn was a 42-year-old correctional officer at the Maryland House of Correction, where Stephens and co-defendant Lamar Cornelius Harris, 41, were then serving life sentences. The prison has since been closed.
We'll have updates on this case later in the day

April 5, 2011

Howard, Arundel jewelry store robberies may be linked to city killing

A jewelry store robbery in Howard County may be linked to others in Baltimore and Annapolis, as well as to the fatal shooting of a 25-year-old who was killed a day after his car was identified as the getaway vehicle in a robbery at the Columbia Mall.

Howard County detectives on Monday arrested three Baltimore men and charged them in an armed robbery last week that netted more than $300,000 in high-end watches. Mall security officers saw the license plate of the getaway car, a Mitsubishi Diamante that was traced to Derek Jones, an aspiring rapper seen at right from this picture on his web site.

But the day after the robbery, Jones was fatally shot in the head as he left a barber shop in West Baltimore in the 1200 block of Winchester St. It was just hours after he had been questioned by county detectives, officials confirmed.

County police announced the robbery arrests Tuesday, but there was no mention in charging documents of Jones beyond describing his vehicle. Sherry Llewellyn, a spokeswoman for the Howard County police, said county detectives had been investigating Jones’ possible involvement in the robbery but said that police were not prepared to charge him at the time of his death.

City homicide detectives were “not prepared to comment” on how the robbery might play into the murder investigation, Baltimore Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.


Jones was a rapper named “Nu-Boy” and “D. Jones,” and had produced an album in late 2008 that was sold at local Best Buy stores. Street life was prominent in his music – album covers are splashed with images of guns and bullets. A song released last fall featured the chorus, “Air ‘em out” with the sounds of guns firing and the clinking of bullet casings hitting the ground.

But a follow-up album, his site promised, was to be called “American Dream,” and discussed “his emergence from the bitter realities” of life in Baltimore that comprised his first album. “It was his wish to give the world more of himself as a person, and less of the tragic images he experienced day to day living in Baltimore,” it reads.

Posted by Justin Fenton at 5:57 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Howard County, West Baltimore

March 18, 2011

Raids in Arundel yield guns, drugs

A series of police raids over the past several days in Anne Arundel County has led to the arrests of several suspects and the seizure of drugs and guns linked to a suspected heroin and marijuana trafficking ring.

Police hit homes in Pasadena, Severn and Annapolis and traced packages containing suspected drugs through a parcel delivery service. Five people were arrested on drug and gun charges in operations conducted Wednesday and Thursday.

Authorities said they traced drugs being sent through the mail to various locations. The total value of the marijuana seized is estimated at $215,000 and weighted about 20.5 pounds, police said. Guns taken by police include an Uzi machine gun, four handguns and assorted rifles and shotguns.

The photographs are from the Anne Arundel County Police Department. For more information about the raids, read the police statement below: 

Continue reading "Raids in Arundel yield guns, drugs" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 11:03 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Breaking news

March 17, 2011

Arundel County Executive under scrutiny; accused of using police to campaign

There has been no shortage lately of corruption investigations, and the latest out of Anne Arundel County mixes cops and power. The county executive, John R. Leopold, no stranger to controversy, is reportedly under investigation for using his police security detail to campaign, including picking up campaign checks and removing signs of an opponent.

This is just the latest in controversies in and around Baltimore involving police officers, and this one in Arundel appears to stem out of a $10 million sexual harassment suit filed by a female county employee.

Sun reporters Andrea F. Siegel and Nicole Fuller write that an attorney representing five county officers on the security detail are negotiating an agreement with the state prosecutor's office to testify in exchange for immunity.

Other recent corruption cases involving police: 

Continue reading "Arundel County Executive under scrutiny; accused of using police to campaign" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 7:42 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

March 15, 2011

Body but no name

Police in Anne Arundel County have a mystery on their hands -- a body but no name.

The Sun's Andrea Siegel brings us a cold case tale of a body of a woman found more than five years ago at the northern tip of the county. Authorities have a composite sketch of what they think the woman looked like, completed from a clay reconstruction of her skull and a drawing by the FBI. Police are awaiting DNA.

Andrea wrote:

The case illustrates the challenges police face in trying to lay to rest an old case with nameless, faceless remains and an unknown cause of death. They hope to bring a sense of closure to families and finality to a case. By reopening the case last month, and putting it in the public eye, they hope somebody who knew or recognizes the woman will come forward. Even a nickname would give them a starting point.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 8:06 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

March 14, 2011

State trooper saves newborn on roadside

Maryland State Police Sgt. Daniel McLain thought he was pulling up to a disabled motorist this morning.

A car was on the side of Route 100 in Anne Arundel County. But, police said McLain noticed that the man standing next the vehicle had "a look of panic and distress not normally seen, even on the faces of disabled motorists."

McLain, a 20-year veteran assigned to the quartermaster division in Jessup, quickly found out why.

A woman in the backseat had just given birth to a girl. "The trooper saw the at the baby was blue and still attached to the umbilical cord." The sergeant gave the newborn CPR and the girl began breathing, turning to a healthy pink by the time the ambulance arrived.

Baby and mother are reported doing well at Baltimore-Washington Medical Center. 

Posted by Peter Hermann at 2:29 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

March 10, 2011

Police seek theft suspect from Annapolis mall

Anne Arundel County police are asking for help identifying a man who stole jewelry from the Liljenquist & Beckstead jewelry store at the Westfield Annapolis Mall. Police said the man walked in on Wednesday, March 5 about 7:30 p.m. and asked to see some merchandise. He then ran off with jewelry a clerk had handed to him.

The composite picture from above shows the man walking into the mall. Two days later, two gunmen robbed the same store of watches in an afternoon holdup. Anyone with information is urged to call the Anne Arundel County Police Southern District at 410-222-1960.

The suspect is described as a black male about 30 years old weighing 250 pounds and standing about 5 feet 11 inches tall. He has a round face and dark complexion with what police said is a "tribal style symbol" tattooed on the back of his right wrist that extends upwards into his sleeve. He was last seen wearing a navy blue “Polo” sweater, navy blue slacks and a navy blue driving cap with a bill.

For information about a reward:

Continue reading "Police seek theft suspect from Annapolis mall" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 8:47 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

March 8, 2011

Annapolis police pulling for "Idol" contestant

Annapolis Police are asking residents to stay indoors - and watch "American Idol." 

The department says one of its officers is a cousin of contestant Pia Toscano, a 22-year-old New York native. With no "Part One" crimes to report from yesterday, part of a general downward trend as The Sun's Andrea F. Siegel reported today, the department took the opportunity to talk up their "Idol" favorite, who is related to Officer Michael Macri, a three-year veteran assigned to the Special Operations Section:

Continue reading "Annapolis police pulling for "Idol" contestant" »

Posted by Justin Fenton at 4:10 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

Men rob Annapolis Mall jeweler at gunpoint

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Two men armed with handguns robbed a jeweler at the Westfield Annapolis Mall on Monday afternoon, according to Anne Arundel County police.

The daylight  holdup occurred shortly before 4 p.m. at Liljenquist & Beckstead Jewelers. The owner told police that two men inquired about watches in a display case and then pulled out guns and announced a robbery.

"The suspects ordered the male victim to hand over wrist watches from the display case. The victim complied and the suspects fled the store in an unknown direction," police said in a statement. Last summer, three groups of robbers terrorized merchants at Mondawmin Mall in Baltimore. In one robbery, they escaped with $100,000 in jewelry.

For more details and description of the robbers:

Continue reading "Men rob Annapolis Mall jeweler at gunpoint" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 9:37 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

March 4, 2011

Human trafficking arrests in Arundel

Police responding to the pleas of parents concerned about their 19-year-old daughter uncovered what authorities described as a prostitution ring being run out of a motel room in Anne Arundel County.

The parents had contacted police after receiving text message from the young woman that she was being held against her will. Police found the woman and concluded she was a willing participant, but that the people allegedly running the operation refused to return her to New Jersey, where she was from.

Authorities who went into the Linthicum room said they found the 19-year-old, along with three other adults. "Officers observed two, partially smoked marijuana blunts in the room," the police said.

"Further investigation revealed that the male suspect was controlling the prostitution operation and that he brought the females to the hotel for express purpose of prostitution," police said in a statement. "Additionally, the suspect was utilizing the internet and the website to solicit customers for the females."

Here's a list of suspects (shown from left to right in the mug shots above)

Edward N. Perkins, 26, of Jersey City, N.J., was charged with possession of marijuana, nine counts of human trafficking, three counts of profiting from prostitution business and prostitution by any means.

Nkosazana Zari Adebamgbe, 18, of Philadelphia, was charged with possession of marijuana.

Johnisha Ne-Cole Harris, 19, of Willingboro, N.J., was charged with possession of marijuana.

Brittni Crabill, 20, of Philadelphia was charged with possession of marijuana.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 7:09 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

March 1, 2011

Facebook tip leads to purse snatching arrests

Anne Arundel County police are crediting Facebook with helping catch a purse snatcher.

On Monday, the cops sought the public's help locating two people who on Feb. 17 had stolen a purse from a shopping cart at a Safeway on Mountain Road. Police said a man and a woman took the purse to a restroom at another location, emptied the contents and stole several items.

Police distributed surveillance photos to the news media and posted them on the department's Facebook page. Today about 1 a.m., police said a person who saw the Facebook page recognized the man and woman inside a Royal Farms store on Fort Smallwood Road in Riviera Beach.

Officers arrested two suspects a short time later. Here is some more information on the suspects and to see the surveillance photo: 

Continue reading "Facebook tip leads to purse snatching arrests" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 3:03 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

Two men shot in Annapolis; man stabbed in city

Police in Annapolis are investigating the shooting of two men that occurred Monday. A 39-year-old and a 23-year-old were injured. In Baltimore, police said a man was stabbed early today near Herring Run Park.

Baltimore police also announced an arrest in a non-fatal shooting that occurred Friday. Police said Michael Campbell, 26, has been charged in the incident, which occurred on Marble Hall Road. We're awaiting more details.

City police also announced arrests in three gun cases on Monday. Police in the 200 block of East Fayette Street downtown arrested three people and seized a 9mm handgun. An off-duty officer in the 2300 block of West Baltimore St. arrested one person and seized a stolen .45 caliber handgun. And a patrol officer arrested one person and got a revolver.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 8:38 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Northeast Baltimore

February 25, 2011

Cars owned by Ponzi schemer to be auctioned

In December, a federal judge sentence Byron Keith Brown to 15 years in prison for bilking people out of $17 million in an Internet Ponzi scheme.

On Tuesday, you can buy his luxury cars during an auction run by the U.S. Treasury Department being held in Ellicott City (photo at left provided by the treasury department).

Brown was convicted after a three-week trial in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. He ran a company called "In God We Trust Financial Services" and several others under different names in Virginia and Maryland. He used to live in Ellicott City.

Prosecutors said that from 2003 to 2009, Brown pushed an investment scheme in which he created fake investors to give the appearance that people were sending him up to $1 million "Brown used funds from new investors to make payments to old investors and to conceal his diversion of investors' monies," prosecutors said.

With Brown securely in prison, the feds can now auction off his cars. Here's a list:

2007 Lamborghini Murcielago            2005 Rolls Royce Phantom
2004 Mercedes Benz Maybach 57       2006 Aston Martin
2008 Maserati Gran Turismo              2002 Ferrari 360
2004 Bentley Continental                  2007 Jaguar XKR CPE
1936 Auburn Speedster                    2006 Land Rover
2006 Mercedes Benz S500                2005 Land Rover Range Rover
2007 BMW 3 Series                          2004 Audi AA8
2005 BMW 7 Series                          2005 Volkswagen Beetle
2005 GMC Canyon

See pictures of the cars here.

For more information:

Continue reading "Cars owned by Ponzi schemer to be auctioned" »

February 23, 2011

Hale not losing permit for bringing gun to airport

After Edwin F. Hale Sr., the head of 1st Mariner Bank, accepted probation before judgment for carrying a loaded gun into BWI Airport, a reader wondered whether the well-known executive would have to forfeit his carry permit.

I checked with the Maryland State Police, which issues the permits through its licensing division, and got these details from spokeswoman Elena Russo:

Shortly after Hale was cited by the Maryland Transportation Authority Police with violating security procedures at the airport -- a misdemeanor state crime -- state police sent him a revocation letter, which, is sent to every permit holder who gets arrested or who is "believed to be involved in an offense that could lead to an arrest."

The letter invited Hale to come talk to state police, and Russo said he "immediately came in by himself" with his permit. Meanwhile, police met with attorneys who advised that the charge with which Hale had been charged, and later accepted probation, "would not prohibit him from purchasing, possessing or carrying a handgun."

Hale's permit was not revoked.

Maryland Transportation Authority Police said at the time of the incident that they charged Hale with the minor offense because they believed that he had honestly forgotten the gun in a briefcase when he went to the airport to board a flight to Milwaukee. And because Hale had a legal carry permit, he could not be charged with illegal gun possession.

Read more stories:

Hale held in gun case

Hale charged with crime

Hale accepts probation before judgment 

Posted by Peter Hermann at 12:44 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

Accused DMI leader held without bond

Perry Roark, the reputed leader of the growing prison gang Dead Man Inc., was transferred yesterday from state prison to the Anne Arundel County Detention Center to face murder charges in the beating death of fellow inmate in 1994. Though his file remains sealed, officials at the Jennifer Road Detention Center say he is being held without bond.

We wrote about Roark over the weekend, with authorities from across the state describing him as a violent leader of a white prison gang started in the late 1990s that has grown rapidly here and across the country. Roark, serving a 25-year prison sentence for a 1991 robbery, was set to be released Tuesday on mandatory release, but state police and Anne Arundel prosecutors turned back the clock on his sentence with the 17-year-old murder charge.

Court papers say little about the new charge, and news outlets didn't report the death of George Hartman in the House of Correction at the time. It may be some time before we get more information, as prosecutors are likely in no rush to try the case.

In a bit of irony, Dead Man Inc. reportedly has long prohibited members from being recruited in county detention centers, whose inmates they saw as inferior and softer than state prisoners. Now their reputed leader is housed in a county facility.

Read more from Sunday's story on Dead Man Inc here.

See a copy of an application for gang membership recovered by police in Roanoke, Va. 

Posted by Justin Fenton at 10:30 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Gangs

Police say 14-year-old bought tobacco

Police and liquor boards routinely send in underage people into bars and stores to try and buy liquor and tobacco. With alcohol, police usually use cadets, who are of adult age, but under 21.

It's a bit more tricky for tobacco, where the minimum age is 18. That requires police use juveniles. Anne Arundel County police conducted such an operation on Wednesday using vice detectives and a 14-year-old boy.

The youth tried to by cigarettes in nine shops in southern Anne Arundel. All but one passed. That means one clerk sold cigarettes to a 14-year-old. Police identified that establishment as the CVS Pharmacy at 2601 Riva Road in Annapolis. The clerk was issued a juvenile citation.

Here are the places that passed:

Continue reading "Police say 14-year-old bought tobacco" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 9:00 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

Hale gets probation for bringing gun to BWI

Edwin F. Hale Sr., who runs 1st Mariner Bank and the Baltimore Blast soccer team, was given probation before judgment for bringing a loaded handgun into the airport. The gun was found in his briefcase as went through security; Hale, who has a valid carry permit, said he forgot the weapon was there.

He will be on probation for a year and was fine $342.50. Probation before judgment means that if he stays clean, the case can be wiped from his record.

Hale's case got mentioned several times during a recent hearing on guns in Annapolis. When city officials pressed to tighten illegal handgun laws, opponents said it would've made Hale's transgression a felony. City officials pointed out the new laws applied only to those with illegal handguns; Hale's was legal.

Read previous stories on Hale: his detention; his charges.  

Posted by Peter Hermann at 8:05 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

February 10, 2011

City, county leaders press for tougher gun laws

"He smirked at me."

That's how Baltimore Police Officer Todd Strohman described the gunman just before he
pulled the trigger, putting a bullet into his shoulder, a bullet that will remain inches above his heart for the rest of his life.

The cop had another message for state lawmakers who make up the Senate's Judiciary
Committee contemplating tougher guns laws proposed by the city (see city's website describing proposed legislation): If the proposed laws had been on the books, the person charged with shooting him wouldn't have been on the street.

The audience applauded Strohman and the lawmakers wished him well. There was no sense
in grilling him on the necessity of enhanced gun legislation. The man charged in the crime had served two years of a 12-year sentence for armed robbery (the judge had suspended six of the years) and had been charged with five previous gun crimes. He had gotten out a little more than two weeks before the shooting on North Calvert Street.

"Seventeen days after he gets out, he shoots one of our cops," said Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Barksdale.

See more on the gun hearing:

Continue reading "City, county leaders press for tougher gun laws" »

February 5, 2011

Hale charged in BWI gun incident

In case there is any lingering confusion, banker Edwin F. Hale Sr. was indeed charged with a crime connected to his bringing a loaded handgun to BWI Marshall Airport on Friday.

Police had said that the well known executive and owner of the Baltimore Blast indoor soccer team had had been detained, which charges to be determined by prosecutors. But police clarified the issue today, saying Hale was given a criminal summons and ordered to court. His gun was confiscated.

Hale told The Sun's Jessica Anderson on Friday that he forgot the gun was in his briefcase as he headed off to the airport. He has had a handgun carry permit for 25 years and police said they believe his story that it was a mistake. But they also said that does not exonerate him from criminal charges.

Read a full account of the story here.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 4:52 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

February 4, 2011

Arundel bank robber sought

Anne Arundel County police are seeking a man who used a threatening note to rob the Severn Savings Bank in Glen Burnie on Thursday. Police said the robbery occurred about 11:15 a.m. at the bank in the 400 block of Crain Highway South.

A bank employee told police that the note implied that the man had a weapon and demanded money. The teller turned over an undetermined amount of money and the man ran away.Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact detective Clifford Van Hoesen of the Robbery Unit at 410-222-3469(3566).

The robber is described as a white male standing about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 250 pounds. He has a light complexion and round face and was wearing a black hat with white writing on front, tan jacket, black pants and black shoes.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 9:00 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

January 29, 2011

Retired teacher killed in Glen Burnie

Anne Arundel County police are investigating the death of a 63-year-old woman who apparently was shot to death during a robbery in Glen Burnie. The Sun's Jessica Anderson and Scott Calvert report that her body was found in her car (at left).

The victim has been identified as Myra Elizabeth Cason. The shooting occurred Friday about 11 a.m. in a parking lot in the 7300 block of Ritchie Highway. She suffered a gunshot wound to the chest while inside her Suzuki Sidekick.

Anderson and Calvert write:

Cason was last seen leaving Maryland Primary Care Physicians around 7:50 a.m. She was discovered later in the parking lot in front of a Pep Boys and a Gavigan's furniture store, police said.

She was pronounced dead at the scene and was taken to the medical examiner's office in Baltimore. Police said the motive appeared to be robbery. Homicide Detective Michele Mangold said police believe the killer was in the car with Cason and forced her to drive to the parking lot around 8:30 a.m. Mangold said police believe Cason had been shot by 8:50 a.m., when a witness saw shattered glass in the parking lot near the Sidekick.

Mangold said it is unclear where Cason was between leaving the doctor's office and arriving at the parking lot. "We need the public to come forward to let us know if you saw her," Mangold said Saturday evening at the crime scene. She said Cason had no criminal record and belonged to a sorority that did charity work.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 10:19 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

January 27, 2011

Two men die in storm

Thursday's snowstorm that created havoc on area roadways and forced people to abandon their cars on the JFX also caused at least two deaths -- an elderly man hit by a snowplow in Anne Arundel County and a taxi driver trapped in a burning car.

Police said the taxi driver apparently got stuck in the snow about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday at Grenada and Norfolk avenues in Northwest Baltimore. His car caught fire and police said the man could not get out. He died in the car.

In Anne Arundel County, police said a 77-year-old man walking on Mountain Road was hit and killed by a snowplow. It occurred about 2:30 this morning and police said the plow driver didn't stop.

The accident is under investigation.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 11:15 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Northwest Baltimore

January 26, 2011

SNOW !!!!


That's stating the obvious, I know, but it comes via Twitter, courtesy of the Baltimore Fire Department firefighters union #734. It's my way of passing along the latest public safety news!

Not to be outdone, Baltimore police put this up on Twitter: "DRIVING ADVISORY: Winter weather conditions are making area roads very slick. Please drive with care and consider staying home."

Of course, the rank and file firefighters and paramedics would be remiss if they didn't also remind you, again via Twitter, that the city continues to close fire companies to save money. So along with storm news, you get this:

Units closed to save money today are Engine 5 & Engine 8. Engine 43 is closed for maintenance. Use caution walking & driving in winter weather.

Engine 8 operates from a firehouse in the 1500 block of West LaFayette Avenue. The house also has a truck and a medic which are operational Engine 5 is out of the Roman Kaminski station in the 2100 block of Eastern Ave.

But enough politics. The last Twitter from Baltimore police was last night, with a man shot in the back in the 800 block of Lennox St. No word yet on his condition. Meanwhile, Liz F. Kay is reporting that the snow you see this morning is "just a teaser" of what we'll see later today and tonight.

Check out the rest of The Baltimore Sun for more snow news, including accidents and road conditions, and closing information. Or better yet, head to Frank Roylance's Maryland Weather blog, Let's see if the adage prove true -- more snow equals less crime.

January 25, 2011

Anne Arundel man's life a lie, FBI says

William G. Hillar of Millersville said he is an Army Special Forces retired colonel who's traveled the world fighting terrorism and advising foreign military organizations. He claims to have a bachelor's degree in psychology, a master's in education and a doctorate in health education.

And he frequently speaks out against human trafficking, claiming in marketing materials that his only daughter was kidnapped, forced into the sex industry and killed — a story that became the basis, he has said, for the 2008 film "Taken," starring Liam Neeson.

But authorities say they can find no evidence of a military background, other than a relatively tame stint with the Coast Guard in the 1960s, according to an FBI affidavit filed in Maryland U.S. District Court, reports The Sun's Tricia Bishop. The University of Oregon says it never awarded him a post-secondary degree, either, and others question the story about his daughter.

"This is someone that we still really don't know who he is," Maryland Assistant U.S. Attorney Leo Wise said during Hillar's initial appearance in court Tuesday afternoon.

The federal case is the second one filed this month claiming that a Maryland man has lied about military credentials. On Jan. 13, a separate criminal complaint was filed against 25-year-old Joseph Lawler for falsely claiming to have earned a U.S. military medal. Lawler is scheduled to appear in Greenbelt U.S. District Court next month.

Posted by Justin Fenton at 6:27 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

Armed robber sought in Arundel

Anne Arundel County police are searching for a gunman who held up an Exxon gas station in the 8000 block of Crain Highway South on Jan. 10. The robbery occurred shortly after 10:30 p.m. at the Glen Burnie station.

Police said the man bought something, left, and returned a few minutes later with a small handgun. They said he threatened an employee and took an undisclosed amount of money. He was last seen running toward the nearby Green Tree apartments.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective Eric Wills at (410) 222-3432 (3566) or Metro Crime Stoppers at the following:

If you have information on the above incident, please call, email, or text your tip to Metro Crime Stoppers Hotline Available 24-Hours A Day Toll Free at 1-866-7LOCKUP or Text “MCS plus your message” to CRIMES (274637).
Visit Metro Crime Stoppers. . Phone calls are not recorded and callers remain anonymous. You may also be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.
Posted by Peter Hermann at 12:18 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

January 13, 2011

Snowden loses bid to keep probation sentence in drunk driving case

Carl O. Snowden got a break by getting probation before judgment in a drunk driving case. Now, a judge has taken the break away.

In what turned out be a mistake not seen by the judge, prosecutor or defense lawyer, Snowden was allowed to escape a harsh penalty and get a sentence that could eventually be expunged. The officials missed a change in state law that forbids two probation before judgment findings within 10 years for drunk driving. It was Snowden's second in eight years.

At a hearing this morning, a judge refused to allow the illegal sentence to stand. The Sun's Andrea F. Siegel reports:

Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Ronald A. Silkworth gave Snowden a week to decide if he wants to withdraw his November plea and start over the case with a different judge or have a conviction on his record and possibly a harsher sentence.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 11:39 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

January 7, 2011

Police warn about more igniting packages; one in DC

Maryland State Police, investigating incendiary devices found in two letters mailed to state offices in Annapolis and Hanover is warning that the person who sent them could send more.

Authorities have made no arrests but they describe the letters complaining about terror warnings as identical, one a copy of the other, that were sent to the governor and the state's transportation secretary. Work who opened the letters were injured.

The Sun reported today:

"We don't believe that yesterday's event is going to end," Col. Terrence B. Sheridan, who heads the Maryland State Police, told reporters at the agency's headquarters in Pikesville. "We just don't know where this person is going."

Sheridan, whose agency is leading the investigation into the two packages found Thursday in Annapolis and Hanover, said he remained "very concerned."

And this just in from the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON (AP) — A package ignited at a Washington postal facility Friday, a day after fiery packages sent to Maryland's governor and transportation secretary burned the fingers of workers who opened them.

Initial information indicated the parcel that ignited in northeast Washington about 2:45 p.m. was similar to the two packages opened in Maryland on Thursday, authorities said. The Washington postal facility was evacuated and no injuries were reported.
Posted by Peter Hermann at 4:41 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Confronting crime

Note on incendiary package references terror warnings

A note accompanying an incendiary package addressed to the governor and affixed with holiday theme stamps said this, according to law enforcement sources: "Report suspicious activity. Total [expletive]. You have created your own self-fulling prophecy."

Gov. Martin O'Malley told the Baltimore Sun that he could only guess that the sender was angry with overhead highway signs asking people to report suspicious activity. That letter, another one sent to the state transportation secretary and two more false scares in Baltimore created concern across the state on Thursday.

Above, Gregory M. Shipley, a spokesman for the Maryland State Police, holds up the sent sent to the governor. The picture was taken by The Sun's Barbara Haddock Taylor.

Office workers from Annapolis to Baltimore were sent streaming out of office and the downtown courthouse -- the two packages in Baltimore, at the state complex on West Preston Street and the Mitchell Courthouse on North Calvert Street -- were nothing more than boxes filled with office supplies.

We should learn more today, maybe even about a suspect, and whether this person really hated the overhead signs that much.

From today's story:

The only injuries reported were to the fingers of a state mailroom worker, who refused treatment — yet federal and state officials locked down state government mailrooms indefinitely and responded with a massive public safety effort that captured the focus of the cable news networks.

In Baltimore, police closed roads during rush hour and evacuated at least two other buildings after concerns were raised about packages found in the city, both of which turned out to be harmless office supplies. And University of Maryland officials in College Park sent an alert to employees warning in capital letters "DO NOT OPEN ANY MAIL."
Posted by Peter Hermann at 7:56 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

January 6, 2011

Explosive devices at Maryland state office buildings

Explosive devices have been found in  two state office buildings in Annapolis, near the State House, and in Hanover, according to authorities.

Bomb squad technicians and the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force are investigating. Details are still coming in, but it appears that a State House mail room employee was hurt while handling one of the packages.

State mail room offices have been shut down.

Keep checking the Baltimore Sun web site for updates of this breaking news.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 2:54 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Breaking news, Confronting crime

December 29, 2010

Teens in Arundel charged in two killings

Two teens charged in the killing of a man during the holdup of a Glen Burnie take-out restaurant have now been charged in the slaying of a clerk at a 7-Eleven, according to Anne Arundel County police.

Youssef Kamal Erian Attia, 48, of Glen Burnie, was shot and killed during a predawn attempted robbery Aug. 9 at a 7-Eleven in the 7700 block of Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard. Police said he wa shot as he tried to run away.

Two of the suspects in that case also have been charged in the killing of Misael Abdias Flores, 20, who was in the Mr. Wings and Pizza in Glen Burnie when two armed men walked in and announced a robbery.

More details on this case can be found here.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 12:37 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

December 28, 2010

Laurel Dunkin Donuts owner shoots, kills man trying to rob store

A man police believe tried to rob a Dunkin’ Donuts on Laurel Fort Meade Road Tuesday morning died at a Maryland hospital this morning after the store’s owner shot him in the lower body, The Sun's Yeganeh June Torbati reports.

Police responded to the store location, on the 3400 block of Laurel Fort Meade Road, around 3:30 a.m. for a report of a robbery. Police believe a man entered the store, implied that he had a weapon, and announced a robbery. After a struggle between the owner of the store and the man, the owner shot the man, who was transported to a hospital in Prince George’s county where he later died from his injuries.

Posted by Justin Fenton at 10:20 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

December 21, 2010

Former Anne Arundel police lieutenant gets five years for sex with teen

A former Anne Arundel County police lieutenant was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison for his relationship with a teen 30 years younger than him and for receiving child pornography, officials said.

James Cifala, 47, of Edgewater, had a sexual relationship with a teenage girl, beginning in 2009, that involved Cifala using pre-paid cell phones and social networking sites to send and receive messages from the victim, including arranging sexual encounters with her, according to a release from U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

"James Cifala was a sworn law enforcement officer who violated his oath in an egregious manner by engaging in a relationship with a child who was more than 30 years younger," said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein in a statement.

Between May and July of 2009, Cifala asked the victim to take and send to his cell phone more than 10 photos of her engaged in sexually explicit conduct, according to Cifala's plea agreement. From August to September 2009, the plea states, the two exchanged more than 1,300 messages with many being sexually graphic.
Posted by Justin Fenton at 8:58 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Courts and the justice system

December 19, 2010

Three fatally shot in city; two men killed in Anne Arundel

After a relatively peaceful week, three people were fatally shot in Baltimore on Saturday, while five others were injured in shootings.

One of the killings, the shooting of a woman in the 3100 block of Monument St., was believed to be part of a murder suicide also involving the death of a man in the 3700 block of Ravenwood Ave. Only one victim of the weekend violence had been identified by late Sunday, 23-year-old Brian Anthony Taylor, who was shot in the chest in the 6000 block of Majorie Lane near the county line Saturday night.

Then there was the discovery of a 42-year-old woman wrapped in plastic in the basement of her Northeast Baltimore home, which is now considered a homicide.

Anne Arundel County also saw two killings in less than an hour, in Severn and Glen Burnie. A food delivery driver was robbed and stabbed, and a 43-year-old man was also fatally stabbed during a fight at a Glen Burnie shopping center.

December 9, 2010

Arundel police target crime around hotels

Anne Arundel County police concluded a six month investigation into crime in and around more than a dozen motels and hotels targeting prostitution, human trafficking and drugs worth more than a half-million dollars.

Dubbed "Operation Safe Stay," police said they made several arrests and confiscated the following:

More than 2,600 grams of marijuana with an estimated street value of $53,000

More than 210 grams of heroin with an estimated street value of $53,700

About $430,000 worth of methanampetamine

More than 31 grams of crack cocaine worth about $3,100

Police said they went after hotel patrons "who are utilizing these establishments to conduct illegal activity. ... Hotels and motels can be places of opportunity for a variety of illicit activities because those involved in criminal activity find a sense of security in the anonymity provided by staying at these establishments."

A total 35 adults were arrested. 

Posted by Peter Hermann at 9:52 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

December 6, 2010

Man killed in Arundel, city

All in all, the weekend in Baltimore appeared relatively quiet, with a few shootings and at least one homicide:

* On Sunday, a 25-year-old man was in critical condition after being shot in the head outside the 4400 block of Belvieu Avenue in Northwest Baltimore. The Sun's Justin Fenton notes on his Twitter page that this is the same block in which a man was fatally stabbed on Thanksgiving.

* Also on Sunday, city police were investigating a shooting that left a 31-year-old man wounded at Linwood and Orleans streets in East Baltimore.

* A 26-year-old man shot in the chest late Friday night in the 1900 block of E. 30th St. in East Baltimore died a few minutes later at good Samaritan Hospital.

In Glen Burnie in Anne Arundel County, police were investigating a shooting outside a bar. The Sun's Larry Carson wrote:

Anne Arundel County police are searching for a man who used a rifle to shoot 30-year-old Kelly Terrell Fisher early Saturday outside Dietrich's Tavern in Glen Burnie. Police said the suspect got out of a vehicle and began shooting at Fisher, of Gatewood Court in Glen Burnie, at about 12:13 a.m. Hit multiple times in the torso, he was rushed to Baltimore-Washington Medical Center, where he later died. Police believe the two may have been acquainted.

On Sunday, police announced an arrest:

During their investigation, Homicide Unit detectives were able to identify the shooter in this incident as 33 year-old Clayton Avila Battle of 8005 Nolpark Court in Glen Burnie.  On December 4, 2010 detectives obtained a warrant for his arrest and at approximately 11:30 p.m. officers observed and stopped a vehicle on I-97 at I-695 in Glen Burnie in which Battle was traveling.  He was found to be a passenger in the car and was arrested without incident. 




Posted by Peter Hermann at 8:03 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, East Baltimore, Northwest Baltimore

December 1, 2010

Prosecutor asks for new sentence for Snowden

Carl O. Snowden might not get a break after all.

A special prosecutor has asked that the director of the civil rights office for the Maryland Attorney General be sentenced again on a drunken-driving charge, saying the first sentence of probation before judgment was illegal.

It was Snowden's third drunken driving arrest; he received probation in 2003 and a 2005 case was dismissed. Changes to state law in 2009 mandate that a person can only get probation before judgment once every day years for drunken driving.

But that change slipped by both the prosecutor and the defense attorney, as well as the judge. Now, The Sun's Andrea Siegel is reporting that the prosecutors is seeking a harsher sentence. We haven't heard yet how Snowden's attorneys will counter.

November 27, 2010

Three shot at Odenton bar

When I pulled up to Maryland Shock Trauma Center early this morning to report on the shooting of a Baltimore police officer, I noticed three ambulances from Anne Arundel County in the emergency lot.

I was told that three people had been shot in Odenton. Turns out one man was shot outside a bar and two patrons were hit by stray bullets. Here are some more details from a statement from Anne Arundel County Police:

On November 27, 2010 at approximately 0148 hours officers of the Western District Platoon Four responded to a report of a shooting that just occurred at “My Place Bar & Lounge” located at 1676 Annapolis Road, Odenton Maryland.

As officers were arriving they were advised that a black male victim, identified as Antwone James Hooper, was lying on the ground to the rear of the business. When officers responded to the rear parking lot they found a black male victim suffering from a gunshot wound to his head, back and abdomen. While officers rendered aid they were told that there were two other victims inside the establishment.

Officers responded inside and found that two others were struck by stray bullets as they were entering the business. Surveillance video of the parking lot revealed that an altercation occurred at the entrance of the establishment and a suspect brandished a revolver pointing it at several subjects. The suspect then chased Hooper around several cars and eventually shot him and the other two victims standing in the doorway. The suspect was last seen running towards the rear of the Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Responding officers received a lookout of the suspect. Officers canvassed the area and located the suspect hiding behind a fence at the KFC. A short time later a K9 unit was able to locate the clothing that the suspect had removed.

All victims were transported to Medical facilities for treatment. The victims in the doorway suffered non-life threatening injuries. Hooper was transported to Shock Trauma for his injuries. He was listed in stable condition.

Suspect – James Edward Jones, 3165 Bero Road, Halethorpe Md 21227, DOB 5/10/87, B/M 5’11” 220lbs

Posted by Peter Hermann at 11:43 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

November 24, 2010

Special treatment for AG official?

There are troubling allegations today that a civil rights official in the Maryland Attorney General's Office escaped serious penalties because a prosecutor (along with others) apparently didn't realize state law makers had toughened the law for drunken driving.

The story, reported in the Annapolis Capital {background story here] and today in The Sun, has officials scrambling:

For the second time in eight years, Carl O. Snowden, current director of the civil rights office in the state attorney general's office, received probation before judgment for drunken driving, and questions have been raised illegalities.

"I'm going to have to figure it out myself," said prosecutor Henry Dove. The Talbot County assistant state's attorney was assigned to the Anne Arundel County case because Snowden, a former Annapolis alderman and aide to the previous county executive, has long been involved in civil rights and politics in the county and had worked with the Anne Arundel prosecutor's office.

Dove said he had no idea that the sentence might be illegal until a reporter from another newspaper contacted him.

State law regarding the granting of probation before judgment changed in 2009. It increased to 10 years the period during which a driver cannot be granted a second probation before judgment in a drunken-driving case.

November 19, 2010

Federal officer given probation before judgment in "Bear Bear" dog shooting

Federal police officer Keith Elgin Shepherd was given probation before judgment today for shooting a Siberian husky he claimed was attacking his pet and threatening him and his wife at a community dog in Severn.

Anne Arundel County District Court Judge Thomas J. Pryal said he would convict Shepherd, 32, on charges of misdemeanor animal cruelty and discharging his personal handgun within 100 yards of homes in the Quail Run neighborhood, but offered Shepherd probation before judgment, which means Shepherd will have the chance to have his record expunged if he meets the terms of his probation.

Pryal fined Shepherd $500 for the animal cruelty charge, and gave him a suspended fine of $1,000 on the handgun charge. His probation will be unsupervised and will last one year, and Shepherd will have to perform 80 hours of community service.
Posted by Justin Fenton at 5:49 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

November 18, 2010

Fire dog dies of cancer in Arundel

The Anne Arundel County Fire Department announced today that one of its dogs used to help in arson investigations has died. Iris, a Black Lab, had cancer. She had put her talents to use throughout the area, including helping in the Dawson case, the Baltimore family that perished in a fire set by drug dealers angry that the Dawson's had called police on them.

Here is a statement and an obit on the dog:

County Executive John R. Leopold and Fire Chief John Robert Ray regretfully announce that the County Fire Department’s first Accelerant K-9, a Black Lab named Iris, has succumbed to cancer.  In August 2010, K-9 Iris was diagnosed with cancer. A cancerous tumor was removed form her right leg.  In November 2010, the tumor returned, ruptured, and was deemed in-operable.  K-9 Iris was laid to rest on the afternoon of November 17, 2010.  

“The loss of a pet, especially a pet who has not only been a companion, but a work partner can be very difficult.  My heart goes out to Investigator Wilson and K-9 Iris’ extended Fire Department Family.  As a pet owner I know this sense of loss” said County Executive John R. Leopold.  

K-9 Iris was born on February 7, 1999. She was raised in Edgewater, Maryland, surrogate puppy raisers for the Guiding Eyes for the Blind’s Guide Dog Program. Iris went to the Seeing Eye K-9 training program in Massachusetts when she was 18 months old.

Unfortunately, she did not successfully complete the program because she would rather chase squirrels than lead people. She was then referred to the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF).

For more information:

Continue reading "Fire dog dies of cancer in Arundel" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 3:21 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

November 17, 2010

Human trafficking, violence in Annapolis brings indictment

The Annapolis Capital reports on a 2008 double shooting that left one man dead and sparked a two-year investigation into a prostitution ring being run by illegal aliens in Annapolis, Easton and elsewhere. It notes strong-arm tactics employed by rival pimps trying to intimidate each other, and women forced into prostitution:

The investigation into the murder of Ricardo Humberto Rivas-Ramirez, 34, and the shooting of the woman at 12:30 a.m. Sept. 13, 2008, led to the unraveling of the suspected prostitution enterprise and Monday's arrests, authorities said.

As Annapolis detectives worked the case, it was apparent the operation had spread to multiple jurisdictions. In March of this year other agencies - including ICE, police in Easton and Washington, D.C., and Delaware and Virginia state police - were brought in to assist. Authorities said the case came under federal jurisdiction when evidence was found that the women involved in the ring were transported across state lines.

Read more here.

Posted by Justin Fenton at 8:28 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

Arundel police trying to ID theft suspect

From Anne Arundel County Police:

Over the past several months, there have been several thefts from vehicles parked in county parks, school parking lots and other public parking lot areas. These thefts have occurred in the Pasadena and Crofton areas. In many of these cases, credit cards were stolen.

The Anne Arundel County Police Department is attempting to identify the female in the attached video surveillance photographs. This female has used credit cards stolen from some of these vehicles to purchase items from the grocery stores in Pasadena, Crofton and Glen Burnie. There may also be other people involved in these thefts as well.

The Anne Arundel County Police Department is asking anyone who can identify the female seen in the photographs or who might have any information pertaining to these thefts to contact Detective Price of the Anne Arundel County Police Department’s Eastern District Detective Unit at 410-222-6145 or contact Detective Connor of the Anne Arundel County Police Department’s Western District Detective Unit at 410-222-6155.

Metro Crime Stoppers:

If you have information on the above incidents, please call, email, or text your tip to Metro Crime Stoppers Hotline Available 24-Hours A Day Toll Free at 1-866-7LOCKUP or Text “MCS plus your message” to CRIMES (274637). Visit the website at

Phone calls are not recorded and callers remain anonymous. You may also be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000    

Posted by Peter Hermann at 9:00 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

November 15, 2010

Violent weekend in city, counties

Shootings and other violence marred the weekend, and it wasn't limited to the city. There was a stabbing at a mall in Anne Arundel County, a teen arrested in a killing at a Glen Burnie pizza shop, a shooting in downtown Baltimore and windows shot out of cars in Cockeysville.

The picture here by Colby Ware for the Baltimore Sun shows a vigil held Sunday for a slain tow truck driver, 23-year-old Andy Joyce, who was shot and killed Nov. 1 in West Baltimore. 

Here are links to the stories:

A teenager was shot in the stomach Saturday night after he exchanged words with the driver and passengers of a vehicle in downtown Baltimore, near St. Paul and Lexington streets shortly after 10 p.m. A few minutes earlier, in the Highlandtown area, police were called to the 400 block of South East Avenue, where they found a 19-year-old man, David Lawrence Hopkins, who had been stabbed. Hopkins died Sunday.

A recent series of armed robberies on college campuses has Maryland students and security personnel on high alert. At least five people were held up on three campuses last week — at knife point at Loyola University Maryland and at gunpoint at both Towson University and the Essex campus of the Community College of Baltimore County.

Police have made three arrests in the Saturday night stabbing of an 18-year-old in the Arundel Mills Mall. The stabbing occurred at about 8:30 p.m. in the mall's food court, police said. Officers on foot patrol in the mall found the victim with a stab wound in the back.

Baltimore County police are investigating a shooting Sunday afternoon near the Loch Raven Reservoir in Cockeysville, where windows on several vehicles were shot out as the drivers slowed to navigate a bend in the road, said Cpl. George Erhardt. In Prince George's County, police are investigating more than 100 shootings of car windshields with a BB gun.

Anne Arundel County police have arrested a Pasadena teenager in the Friday night shooting death of a 20-year-old Glen Burnie man in a pizza shop on Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard.

Horns blaring and yellow lights flashing and twirling, a caravan of tow trucks from a dozen companies filled the 500 block of Mosher St. in West Baltimore Sunday night, the same block where 23-year-old Andy Joyce was shot to death two weeks ago while making a service call that his boss says would have netted the young driver $15.

November 11, 2010

Plenty of crime headlines today

Today's news brings us lots of crime, from a conviction of a former Frostburg student in a slaying to computers stolen from a private school in Baltimore County:

* Shortly after Tyrone Hall was sentenced Wednesday for the fatal shooting of Brandon Carroll and the wounding of Ellis Hartridge Jr., the families and friends of all three young men involved in the incident last April stood outside Allegany Circuit Court. Some cried openly; others seethed quietly. Neither side seemed satisfied with Judge W. Timothy Finan's decision to send the 21-year-old Glen Burnie man to prison for five years.

* The empty desks in the computer room, left with nothing more than dust and a few old cables, tell the story of the burglary as vividly as any anecdote. Thieves who broke into a private Christian school in Northeast Baltimore over the weekend seemed to know exactly where the most valuable items were, school officials said Wednesday, prompting the theory that the perpetrators are former students. The burglars made off with 17 new desktop computers that had been set up just two weeks ago, as well as sound and music equipment from behind a stage.

* Baltimore County police have charged a 17-year-old in the Oct. 31 murder of Dequan Burks, in Lansdowne. Sterlin Corday Matthews, of Baltimore, has been charged as an adult with first-degree murder in the shooting of Burks, 16, of Baltimore, on Halloween night.

* Baltimore County police have identified a man who was shot Tuesday night in Dundalk as 22-year-old Jean Hoffman of the 2000 block of Guy Way and said they were looking for three suspects. According to police, three men knocked on Hoffman's door and asked to speak with him. He went outside, where they argued, and Hoffman was shot once in the abdomen, police said. He was able to get back inside his home, and the three men fled.

* Last month, federal investigators searched a Calvert County house as part of an investigation into a series of thefts in September from a locker room used by the U.S. Naval Academy's baseball team and from the head coach's office.

Bank robber may have tossed loot during chase

A bank robbery in Anne Arundel County on Wednesday brings this report from The Sun's Andrea F. Siegel:

Cash reportedly flew out of the window of a car chased by police Wednesday on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, after a bank robbery in Millersville, police said.
Around 10:30 a.m. a man went into the Washington Savings Bank in the 600 block of Old Mill Road, passed a robbery note, received cash and then fled onto Veterans Highway in a red Pontiac Firebird, said Justin Mulcahy, a county police spokesman.

That reminded of this gem published in The Sun in 1998 headlined: "Law and Disorder on the Interstate":

Continue reading "Bank robber may have tossed loot during chase" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 7:01 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Confronting crime

November 10, 2010

Arundel police search for assault suspect

Anne Arundel County police put out this alert:

The above suspect is being sought in reference to an active Sexual Assault Investigation. The assault occurred on November 8, 2010, around 7:11 p.m. in the area of the 8100 block of Scenic Meadow Drive in Laurel, Maryland.

Description:    Black Male with a “chunky” build
    Facial hair with razor burn / bumps
    Approximately 6’0” Tall
    Early 30’s
Last seen wearing a maroon hooded pullover sweatshirt, dark colored sweat pants and white shoes.

If any jurisdiction or individual has information about the above suspect, please contact Detective J.R. Hartzell of the Sex Offense Squad at (410) 222-3750. CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DIVISION – SEX OFFENSE SQUAD 41 COMMUNITY PLACE CROWNSVILLE, MD 21032

Posted by Peter Hermann at 10:27 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Breaking news

November 3, 2010

Bank robber sought in Arundel

Anne Arundel County police are seeking help identifying this suspected bank robber. Here is their statement:

On November 1, 2010, at approximately 1:15 p.m., officers from the Southern District responded to the 5500 block of Muddy Creek Road in West River for a report of a bank robbery at the Bank of America.

Upon arrival, officers spoke with the bank teller, who stated that a male suspect approached the counter and passed a note demanding money and implying that he was armed. The teller handed over an unknown amount of money to the suspect, who fled the scene. Several officers and a K-9 unit responded to the scene, but were unable to locate the suspect.

Suspect: Black male in his 30’s, approximately 5’8”- 5’9”, 150 pounds, wearing a black Nascar hat with the #24 in yellow writing on the front, red and white striping and the #24 on the rear of the hat, a gray sweatshirt and dark colored sunglasses.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 9:20 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Breaking news

October 26, 2010

Man charged with stealing signs for slots

The debate over slots in Anne Arundel County is heating up. A man arrested over the weekend and charged with tearing down and stealing campaign signs targeted those supporting slots at Arundel Mills.

David Scott Corrigan of Glen Burnie told police that, "I am against it," referring to Question A on the ballot that would allow a zoning change to give slots a green light on the mall property. The Sun's Andrea Siegel reports today that Corrigan earns $160,000 a year as a manager with Northrup Grumman in Glen Burnie.

Now a video has surfaced on YouTube, shot by an employee of Jobs and Revnue Corps., a company on Ritchie Highway that had the signs on its property. And The Baltimore Sun has obtained a copy of the police report which can be found here:

Continue reading "Man charged with stealing signs for slots" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 7:40 AM | | Comments (13)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

October 22, 2010

"Sir, you forgot your $279,785"

Federal authorities are seeking to seize nearly $280,000 that they found during a screening of the luggage of a Baltimore man who was about to travel from Baltimore-Washington International to Long Beach, Calif.

According to court documents filed by a U.S. Immigration and Customs agent, on Oct. 7 at about 6 a.m., Baltimore resident Brian Shreeves' bag was flagged because it contained a laptop computer. They found sealed bags containing large amounts of currency - later determined to be $279,785 - but while they were searching, Shreeves took off. He was later located in a bathroom and detained for questioning, where he denied knowledge of the bag's contents and was released.

Authorities believe the money was being laundered for drug transactions. Shreeves, a Jamaican national, was convicted of drug possession with intent to distribute in 2008 in Prince George's County, officials noted.

Posted by Justin Fenton at 11:53 AM | | Comments (18)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

October 19, 2010

Declared dead but not dead, then dead

Ruth Shillinglaw Johnson collapsed on her bathroom floor. Her neighbor, worried she had not seen Ruth, called Anne Arundel County police. At least one officer responded, detected a "decomposition smell," declared her dead and called the anatomy board to remove the body.

But when that worker showed up, he found that Ruth was alive.

Now police are reviewing the case and their procedures. The Sun's Andrea F. Siegel reports today that Ruth died, for real, on Saturday, at the Hospice of the Chesapeake. It's still a bit unclear what the officers did when they found Ruth 15 days ago, but it is clear they did not call for medical help.

Anne Arundel County police released this statement:

Continue reading "Declared dead but not dead, then dead" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 8:01 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Confronting crime

October 14, 2010

Star athlete from Arundel faces more charges

A state wrestling champion and high school quarterback who Anne Arundel County school officials allowed to continue playing football faces even more assault charges as a result of an altercation in Baltimore.

The Sun's Don Marcus reports:

According to police, James Patrick Downey III of Linthicum  Heights assaulted Connor M. Little in a parking lot near M&T Bank Stadium in November 2009 while they were attending the annual "Turkey Bowl" football game between Calvert Hall and Loyola. Downey and former North County teammate Louis Patrick Carey were also charged with assaulting two Navy football players at a Baltimore nightclub last June.

Court records show that Downey's attorney is trying to get the two Baltimore cases moved from Circuit Court back to juvenile court since Downey was 17 at the time of each incident. Motions for a reverse waiver are scheduled Nov. 3, two days after Downey has a preliminary hearing on 17 charges, including first-degree assault, robbery, conspiracy and theft, in Anne Arundel County District Court in a Se[t. 20 incident.
Marcus reports that the player is now ineligible to play sports, but the question remains why he was kept on the team for so long after his arrests.

October 11, 2010

Family of crash victim left in dark

On Sunday, Oct. 3, two cars collided at Patapsco Avenue and Potee Street in South Baltimore. One man was thrown from the vehicle and died.

City police, busy preparing for a funeral for an officer who died in a car crash in Pennsylvania, asked the Maryland Transportation Authority police to handle the investigation. As a result, neither agency said anything about the crash to either the media or to the public.

But this is not just a media-feels wrong story. The family of the 19-year-old victim, Andrew Arnold-McCoy of Glen Burnie, didn't get much information either. In fact, officers who notified him of the death did not tell that the driver of the other was an off-duty police officer from Annapolis.

The investigation into the cause of the accident continues -- one of drivers blew a red light -- but the refusal of the authorities, particularly those in the Maryland Transportation Authority, to release even the most basic details is perplexing and has angered the victim's family.

"We are just frustrated," Michael Schearer, McCoy's father, told Sun reporter Jessica Anderson. "It's hard to have closure if you don't know what happened."

We at the Sun learned about the accident from the Annapolis Police Department when they sent out a news release Thursday afternoon saying that one of their officers, James Salyers, had been placed on desk duty because of his involvement in the crash.

Calls to city police were referred to the transportation authority, where a spokesman confirmed the crash but refused to release more details, including the name of the victim which is usually made public after relatives are notified. Sgt. Jonathan Green told Anderson that the name couldn't be released until the investigation was complete.

The victim's father contacted The Sun after seeing a brief story of the accident and saying that he hadn't been told a police officer was involved. He had already buried his son and a death notice had been published. On Saturday, after Green still refused to confirm the identity of the victim, city police released the name.

This delay not only turned what otherwise would've been a small story on the accident into a larger story noting the anger and frustration of the victims' relatives, who were needlessly kept in the dark over a pertinent detail of their son's death, a detail they had to learn from reading the paper instead of being told by police. And the public was needlessly kept in the dark about a fatal car accident involving a police officer.  

Posted by Peter Hermann at 8:31 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, South Baltimore, Top brass

September 29, 2010

Old rape, new fears

A 31-year-old man has pleaded guilty to raping an Anne Arundel County woman in 2003 after authorities linked him to the crime through DNA.

But the story doesn't end there. As The Sun's Andrea Siegel reports today, the victim spent years suffering from anxiety attacks and worried about the rapists threats to kill her. The arrest seven years later renewed those fears, and police confirmed them.

Andrea reports the woman had to quit her job and police officers escorted her to summer classes.

Now, Donnell Thomas Bellamy, who had lived in Glen Burnie but most recently resided in Wisconsin, faces 25 years in prison. He pleaded guilty to first-degree rape on Tuesday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court.

September 9, 2010

Murder suspect released on bail back behind bars

An Anne Arundel County murder suspect who a judge released on bail without the knowledge of prosecutors is back behind bars. That move comes just a day after relatives of the victim expressed outrage.

The Baltimore Sun's Jessica Anderson reported on Wednesday that Hida Chan, the victim's sister, said, "We're scared — he's still out there. To us, [the suspect] is a very dangerous person. He is not afraid to kill."

Police had arrested James William King, 26, of Severn, on Aug. 17 in the shooting of Calvin Chi Man Yeung, 40, who suffered a bullet wound in the upper body while sitting in his car at a traffic signal on Telegraph Road and Route 100. When King was arrested, police said he may have been motivated by road rage.

The suspect was being held in jail but his lawyer filed for bail review. The paperwork never made it to prosecutor, and the judge freed the suspect. "This guy was on the streets by the time we found out," Kristin Fleckenstein, a spokeswoman for the Anne Arundel County State's Attorney's Office, told Anderson.

The suspect's bail was rescinded during another hearing Thursday and police took him back into custody.

September 8, 2010

Police agencies target laser pointers

Police in several jurisdictions around Maryland are warning residents not to point laser pointers at helicopters, saying their pilots are getting blinded as they track criminals and patrol from the area. There has been numerous such attacks on aircraft this summer at Ocean City and in the Baltimore area.

Baltimore County police recently arrested two men from Essex in separate pointing incidents in Essex -- in one case the pilot of police helicopter was able to turn and shine a spotlight on a house were a resident was playing with a pointer from his front porch.

Earlier today, police held a news conference at Martin State Airport in Middle River to call attention to the problem. Representatives from Maryland State Police were joined by pilots from Baltimore City, Baltimore County, the U.S. Park Police and the University of Maryland Medical Center.

The laser pointers, which can be bought for around $65 at office supply stores and in shops along the Boardwalk in Ocean City, have become popular play-things for youths and young adults. But police warn that shining the pointers -- particularly the green ones, which are more powerful than the red -- can blind pilots for up to 30 seconds.

"It's not fun and games," said Maryland State Police Lt. Walter A. Kerr of the aviation unit (at the podium above). "It could be potentially lethal."

Police helicopters are particularly vulnerable because they fly low -- at 500 to 1,500 feet -- and circle, and Kerr said people "have fun playing with us. Our helicopters are primary targets."

Baltimore County Sgt. Ron Wines, who has flown police helicopters since 1984, said he has been "lasered" two times, once just a few months ago while chasing an armed robbery suspect in the western part of the county. He said he was temporarily blinded and had to delay his response.

"It's very disorienting," Wines said. "Our flight crews are defenseless."

Here's a history of Baltimore Police Department's Foxtrot helicopter.

August 20, 2010

Anne Arundel police seek help in 7-Eleven slaying

Anne Arundel County police are seeking help in identifying the people responsible for the Aug. 9 slaying at a 7-Eleven store in Glen Burnie. Youssef Kamal Erian Attia was gunned down as he tried to flee from three men who had entered the store, police said.

The robbery occurred about 3:30 a.m. in the 7700 block of Baltimore Annapolis Blvd. Police said they found Attia with what appeared to be gunshot wounds to his upper body. Here is a statement from police and pictures from the hold-up:

Information Sought 7-Eleven Homicide
Posted by Peter Hermann at 2:08 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Breaking news

August 18, 2010

Police officer charged in Arundel dog park shooting

Prosecutors in Anne Arundel County have charged Keith Shepherd, 32, of Severn, a civilian police officer for the Army in Northern Virginia, in connection with shooting the dog Bear-Bear in a park in Severn.

The case attracted national attention, especially after county police initially closed the investigation without filing charges, outraging animal-rights groups and others. The officer was charged with misdemeanors -- animal cruelty and discharging a firearm within 100 yards of an occupied home.

To listen to the officer's 911 call.

For for details, read Andrea Siegel's account in The Sun and go to Jill Rosen's Unleashed blog for an interview with the dog owners.

August 13, 2010

Arundel police seek teens in robbery-killing

Police in Anne Arundel County are looking for three teenagers they believe were involved in a fatal shooting early Friday during a robbery gone awry.

Officers were summoned to the 100 block of W. Edgevale Road in Brooklyn Park at about 12:30 a.m. Friday to investigate a shooting. When they arrived, the officers discovered Eric Javonn Hill, 30, inside his car, with a gunshot wound to the upper torso.

Hill, of the 200 block of W. Edgevale Road, was taken by ambulance to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. He was pronounced dead at 2:30 a.m.
Posted by Justin Fenton at 10:53 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

August 11, 2010

Arundel police seek help in killing of store clerk

Anne Arundel County police have issued a flier seeking help solving the killing of a clerk at a 7-Eleven convenience store in Glen Burnie:

On August 9, 2010, at approximately 3:37 a.m., officers from the Northern District responded to the 7-Eleven store in the 7700 block of Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard in Glen Burnie for a shooting.

Officers located the victim, Youssef Kamal Erian Attia (left), who was suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. Through the investigation and evidence collected at the scene, officers and detectives determined that three male suspects entered the store and announced a robbery. The victim attempted to flee the store and was subsequently shot. The suspects fled the store on foot and were observed heading north on Marley Neck Boulevard. The motive appears to be robbery and the investigation is ongoing.  The suspects are described as:

1) Black Male, 5’09”, Black Shirt or Jacket, Pants, Medium/Dark 
    Brown Skin Tone, Thin, 19 Years Old, High Top Fade Hair Style,   
    Black Nike Backpack.
2) Black Male, 5’06”, Light Skin Tone, Jeans, Red Shirt or Jacket, 
    Pistol Grip Sawed Off Shotgun. 
3) Black,Male, Jeans, Black Shirt or Jacket, Armed With handgun.

If Your Tip To The Hotline Leads To The Arrest And Indictment Of A Felony Crime, you May Be Eligible For A Cash Reward Of Up To $2,000!!! If you have information on the above crime/suspect please call, email, or text: Metro Crime Stoppers Hotline Available 24-Hours A Day
Toll Free 1-866-7LOCKUP; Text “MCS plus your message” to CRIMES (274637); Phone Calls Are Not Recorded AND Callers Remain Anonymous


Posted by Peter Hermann at 1:28 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Breaking news, Confronting crime

August 10, 2010

Anne Arundel police need help in catching bank robbers

Anne Arundel County police are searching for bank robbers in a holdup this weekend in Glen Burnie:


Bank of America Robbery
Posted by Peter Hermann at 3:21 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

August 9, 2010

Cars plow into pedestrians in Arundel, Western Maryland

Two horrific traffic accidents involving cars hitting pedestrians left at least three dead and several others injured over the weekend.

In Anne Arundel County, a car went off the road in Laurel and hit three members of the family who were taking a break from bicycle riding. The driver of the car was killed; the family remains hospitalized.

In Western Maryland, two family members were killed and a third injured when a car plowed into a group of people who had gathered by the side of a road after a church service

Here are details of the crash in Anne Arundel County from a police news release:

Continue reading "Cars plow into pedestrians in Arundel, Western Maryland" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 7:28 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Crime elsewhere

August 7, 2010

Three killed in Baltimore; violence in Arundel

Baltimore police report that three people were killed in the city overnight. We're awaiting details from the department, but here is some preliminary informaton.

About 10:30 p.m., an adult male was shot in the stomach at Clarence Avenue and Clifton Park Terrace in Northwest Baltimore. Homicide detectives were called to the scene.

Less than an hour lateer, Eastern District detectives were investigating a shooting at Kirk Avene and Homewood Street. Police said an adult male was shot in the stomach and was being treated at a nearby hospital.

About 12:30 a.m., police said an adult male was shot in the head at Shipley and West Fayette streets in Southwest Baltimore. Homicide detectives were investigating that shooting.

Shortly before 6 a.m., police said an adult male was stabbed in the upper body in the 2000 block of North Bentalou St. Detectives from the Western District were handling that case. And about 6:20 a.m., homicide detectives were at the scene of a man who had been stabbed several times in the chest in the 700 block of Lennox St.

Meanwhile, city police are reporting several gun arrests. Two men were arrested in the 2700 block of Wilkens Ave. with a loaded handgun and body armor, according to police. In the 1500 block of North Bond St., police said they arrested a man with drugs and a loaded handgun. Two men with a loaded handgun and ammunition were arrested in the 1500 block of East Monument St., according to police, and an alert citizen told officerws about a man with a gun at Liberty Heights Avene and Hilton Parkway.

Here are details of a shooting in Anne Arundel County:

Continue reading "Three killed in Baltimore; violence in Arundel" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 9:53 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Breaking news

August 6, 2010

Arundel police release report in dog shooting

Anne Arundel County police just released a redacted copy of the police report into the fatal shooting of a dog at a Severn park. There are still many unanswered questions but police say the review should be concluded in the next 72 hours. Here is the police statement:

Continue reading "Arundel police release report in dog shooting" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 6:18 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Breaking news, Confronting crime, Top brass

Officer who shot dog in Arundel park says it was self-defense

The off-duty federal police officer who fatally shot a husky in a Severn dog park says he fired at Bear-Bear in self-defense and because the dog's owner "could not or would not" break up a fight with the officer's German shepherd named Asia.

That differs from the account given by the owner of Bear-Bear, who has said the officer opened fire too quickly in the crowded Quail Run community dog park. As was reported yesterday, Anne Arundel County police who at first closed the inquiry without charges have now relaunched their investigation.

For complete details, see Sun reporter Andrea Siegel's story today and read Jill Rosen's Unleashed blog

County police and the attorney for the 32-year-old federal officer, who has been placed on administrative leave from the Joint Base Army-Henderson Hall in Northern Virginia. The officer is a civilian employee but had spent two years in the Army and received several commendations.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 7:52 AM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Confronting crime

August 5, 2010

Dog shot in Arundel Park; police reverse course to investigate

A day after Anne Arundel County police said their investigation into a federal officer who fatally shot a dog in a park had concluded without charges, authorities reversed course and said they would probe further.

The shooting of the brown and white husky named Bear-Bear has outraged animal advocates and pet owners across the county. The Baltimore Sun's Jill Rosen, author of the Unleashed blog, where you can read much more about this incident, reports that Bear-Bear became entangled in another dog when its owner opened fire in the Quail Run dog park.

The off-duty federal officer has not been identified. But a day after his police force said no crime had been committed, County Executive John R. Leopold said he was "deeply troubled" by the shooting and he ordered the investigation re-opened, calling it a priority.

"This investigation is far from complete," the county's police chief James Teare said Wednesday afternoon. "The Police Department takes this very seriously and will continue to investigate all aspects of the case."

Dog walkers question whether the officer shot too quickly in a public park crowded with dog owners and children, and whether he did enough to stop the dogs --  playing off the leash in a fenced in play area -- from fighting before turning to his weapon. The officer had told police that he feared for the life of his dog and his family.

Here is the latest statement from Anne Arundel County Police:

Continue reading "Dog shot in Arundel Park; police reverse course to investigate" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 7:36 AM | | Comments (26)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Confronting crime

August 2, 2010

Convenience store held up in Arundel

Anne Arundel County police are searching for two men who robbed a 7-Eleven convenience store in Millersville. Here are the details and pictures:


Old Mill 7-11 Robbery
Posted by Peter Hermann at 10:08 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Breaking news, Confronting crime

July 28, 2010

Killer of 6-year-old girl out of prison, in trouble again

Anne Arundel County police released pictures of a carjacking outside the Annapolis Mall earlier today hoping to find the victim who sped away after the suspect jumped out of the vehicle and was promptly arrested (photo at left).

His name is Arthur Tyler Felton, 38.

A check of the records reveals a stunning fact: Arthur Tyler Felton shot and killed 6-year-old Tiffany Smith in July 1991 during a gun battle with a rival drug dealer in West Baltimore's Walbrook community.

The shooting outraged the city much in the same way Sunday's stabbing death of Stephen Pitcairn does today, complete with similar complaints of lenient prison sentences for prior crimes and failures of judges and others to hold criminals accountable.

Felton pleaded guilty to second-degree mruder, agreed to testify against his rival and got a 30 year sentence, with all but 18 years suspended. He was released in 2005, after spending 13 years behind bars, and completed his probation just three months ago.

Now, police in Anne Arundel County have charged him with stealing a cell phone and an MP3 player from a Sears store in the mall and then briefly carjacking a woman in a failed bid to escape security guards.

Tiffany Square still stands on Rosedale Street, complete with the little girl's name and a few trees. But the promised revival of the neighborhood, along with promises by cops and others to end the scourage of drugs and violence, failed.

Now, after Pitcairn's death on St. Paul Street, a makeshift memorial is going up and politicans are again swarming the scene of a murder and promising reforms. And the debate rages over prison sentences.

Back in 1992, Tiffany's mother complained that her child's killers had gotten away with murder. After 20 years, the stories and the complaints remain the same.

Here are the details on the Annapolis theft and carjacking:

Continue reading "Killer of 6-year-old girl out of prison, in trouble again" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 6:12 PM | | Comments (3)

Suspect caught, now cops seek victim

Anne Arundel County police have just released some remarkable photos of a carjacking suspect from the Annapolis Mall. They say a man stole a cell phone and an MP3 player, ran out of the complex and carjacked a woman by jumping into the back of her car.

He jumped out about 50 yards later and confronted security guards with a razor, according to police.

But the victim drove off, and now the cops are searching for her to help prosecute the case against the suspect.

Here are some of the photos police released from surveillance cameras showing the suspect, the car and the confrontation with the guards who were able to get him into custody.

More details of the case can be found here:

Continue reading "Suspect caught, now cops seek victim" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 12:04 PM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Breaking news, Confronting crime

July 27, 2010

More details on light rail robberies

Baltimore police just concluded a news conference in which they released more details about nine robberies at two light rail stations in South Baltimore -- Cherry Hill and Patapsco Avenue.

Contrary to earlier reports, one robbery did occurr about a train. The others were near the platform or in residential areas near the stations. Police said at least two attacks involved a gun; in the others, the suspects implied they had a weapon. Two were purse snatchings.

Police arrested four juveniles, one as young 14, and one 17-year-old who has been charged as an adult. The attacks occurred between May 23 and July 19. Police said they told people who live near the stations about the holdups and talked with passengers but they did not send out a news release or alert the general public.

Here are details from the arrest of the 17-year-old. It involves just one of the attacks, but it's an example of the types of robberies that occurred:

Continue reading "More details on light rail robberies" »

July 26, 2010

Kidnapping suspects sought in Arundel

                                                 Anne Arundel County police are asking for help in locating suspects wanted in a home-invasion and kidnapping case from this morning. Authorities say the incident is believed to be domestic in nature.

BREAKING UPDATE: Officers and detectives recovered the female victim, Sherry Lane, around 3:45 p.m. in the 1400 block of Houghton Road in Glen Burnie. Additionally, one suspect, Roy Thomas, was taken into custody without incident. Detectives pinpointed this address through investigative means. The victim is not injured, but is being offered Mobile Crisis. The investigation is very active and ongoing at this time.

"All three suspects forcefully removed the female victim, Sherry Anne Lane, 26, of that address, and placed her into a vehicle parked outside of the residence," according to a police statement. "Another female resident awoke to the sounds of the female victim screaming and made her way to a window, where she saw the three suspects force the victim into the vehicle."

Here are some more detail's from The Sun's Andrea Siegel:

"We believe the motive was domestic related. We do believe she is in imminent danger,” said Justin Mulcahy, a county police spokesman. The vehicle, seen by another woman living in the house who was awakened by the commotion and looked out the window, appeared to be a light or silver colored four-door sedan. Court records show the victim and suspect had been involved in paternity issues.

The victim is described as a 26-year-old white female standing about f feet 3 inches tall and weighing about 135 pounds. She has brown hair and blue eyes. If anyone has information or seen the victim or suspects, call Detective Mangold at 410-222-3458 or immediately dial 911.

Here is the full statement from Anne Arundel County police:

Continue reading "Kidnapping suspects sought in Arundel" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 1:01 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Breaking news

July 15, 2010

Baltimore man charged with identity theft of the dead

UPDATE: We just learned that the person whose identity was stolen in this case, Kurt Branham, was a legislative aide to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, (R-Kentucky), who died in 1994. An obituary published in the Washington Post said Branham had worked on legislation that included laws dealing with missing and abused children.

Here's the story:

A British citizen is being held on charges that he obtained a U.S. passort and a Maryland driver’s license in the name of dead man from Washington and tried to use the documents to fly out of BWI Airport, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

John Skelton, 41, was arrested Monday night at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and charged in U.S. District Court with identity theft and using a fraudulently obtained social security number.

Continue reading "Baltimore man charged with identity theft of the dead" »

July 14, 2010

Despite rain, shootings continue

UPDATE: Police told me that the shooting mentioned below on MacTavish Avenue was a self-inflicted wound. The victim survived.

Also, police just reported another loaded handgun seizure from the 4800 block of Reisterstown Road. The police made two arrests while serving a location at a residence. 

The heavy rain and storms didn't stop the gunmen Tuesday night. At 9 p.m. in East Baltimore, city police say a man was shot in the lower back in the 1600 block of N. Wolfe St. Another man was shot in the thigh in the same incident.

About 4:30 a.m., and adult male walked into the emergency room at Harbor Hospital suffering from a gunshot wound. City police later determined he had been shot in Glen Burnie, and Anne Arundel County police are handling the investigation. Around the the same time, police responded to the 3600 block of MacTavish Ave., near Violettville Elementary School in Southwest Baltimore, for a man who had been shot. There's no word yet on his condition, but police said homicide detectives are investigating.

Baltimore police do report making an arrest in the shooting that occurred two days ago in the 4200 block of Reisterstown Road. Othnell Carr has been charged in that incident. And earlier Tuesday, police arrested three suspects and seized a loaded handgun in the 700 block of Linnard Street in Southwest Baltimore. 

Posted by Peter Hermann at 7:00 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Breaking news, South Baltimore

July 13, 2010

Former employee charged with killing dentist

Two people, including a former office manager, have been charged in the 2006 killing of Albert Woonho Ro, a Glen Burnie dentist who was well known in the Korean community.

Shontay Joyner-Hickman (left), 35, of the 700 block of N. Kenwood St. in Baltimore was arrested Monday night at her home by Anne Arundel County police after she and Dante Jeter, 23, who was being held at the Baltimore jail, were indicted on murder charges.

"I am extremely proud of the men and women of the Anne Arundel County Police Department to include personnel from our Crime Laboratory and Evidence Collection Unit along with Detectives Cremen and Gajda, who worked tirelessly on this case from the very beginning to make these arrests a possibility," Chief of Police Colonel James Teare, Sr. said in a statement. "These detectives displayed compassion while they aggressively investigated this case and sought justice on behalf of the victim and his family."

Details are still developing in the case. The Sun's Andrea Siegel wrote:

Ro kept to a workday routine that had his office closed to patients about 5 p.m., with him staying to finish paperwork and arriving home by 7 p.m., according to his family. But by 9 p.m. that night nearly four years ago, his wife, Susan, was frantic. Ro had not come home and she could not reach him. She called his mother.

Later in the evening, she met relatives and police in the office park and brought her husband's office door key. Police entered to find office papers strewn everywhere and Albert Ro dead in a back room. With no leads panning out despite the offer of a cash reward, the case was turned over to cold-case detectives when the small unit was restarted in 2008.

Albert Ro's parents immigrated to the Baltimore area from South Korea with their four children in 1970. He received a dental degree from the University of Maryland, served briefly in the Air Force and then opened a practice in Lutherville and a satellite office in Glen Burnie.

June 16, 2010

Detective in police shooting battles tough case amid personal tragedy

The Baltimore police homicide detective who led the investigation into the fatal shooting by an off-duty police officer of an unarmed man in Mount Vernon has his own strggles to deal with. His teen-aged son is battling cancer.

I first met Shawn M. Reichenberg Sr. back in 1997 (left) when he was out locking up armed robbery suspects and gunmen in Federal Hill after a rash of holdups in the upscale neighborhood. Little did I know I'd meet him again so many years later, at the heart of one of Baltimore's most controversial shootings.

I couldn't talk to him this week -- the department didn't want him to be interviewed in the midst of such a big case. The plight of his son has been well documented in local media in Anne Arundel County and on WJZ-TV.

Meanwhile, today is the funeral for the victim in the shooting. Tyrone Brown is to be remembered at a service at Morgan State University. We'll have much more on this story here and in the news section later today.

June 15, 2010

DNA aids in arrest in Howard County rape

Howard County police just announced the arrest of a man in a 2004 rape. Here is their statement:

A Connecticut man is in custody for a 2004 rape in Howard County, thanks to a recent hit from a national DNA database.

Gary Sental Taylor, 30, of 303 Washington Village in Norwalk, Conn., was arrested May 10 in Connecticut and faces charges of first- and second-degree rape. He was extradited to Maryland on June 9 and is being held at Howard County Detention Center on no bond.

The case dates back to Aug. 6, 2004, when a woman was raped at knifepoint in a laundry room at Grande Point Apartments in the 5700 block of Stevens Forest Road by a stranger.

“This was a rare case of stranger rape in Howard County,” said Police Chief William McMahon.  “We are glad that with the help of the Maryland State Police, we’ve been able to take this suspect into custody.”

For more:

Continue reading "DNA aids in arrest in Howard County rape" »

May 21, 2010

Arundel cops seize drugs

Anne Arundel County police announced this morning a significant drug seizure. Here is their statement:

On May 19, 2010, detectives from the Anne Arundel County Police Department’s Special Enforcement Section along with the Special Operations Section executed a search and seizure warrant at 419 Peach Court in Annapolis. The search warrant was in reference to a month-long investigation into illegal CDS distribution activity occurring at the residence. Through investigation, detectives were able to identify Robert Coates as being involved with drug distribution.

Prior to execution of the search warrant, detectives observed Robert Coates and a female, later identified as Lattress Coates, leave the residence and enter a white Ford F-150. A traffic stop was conducted on the vehicle and both suspects were arrested. A search of the vehicle was conducted and detectives located in the front passenger compartment a clear bag containing suspected marihuana, a cigar package containing suspected marihuana, a small zip lock bag containing suspected powder cocaine and a small zip lock bag containing suspected crack cocaine.

For more:

Continue reading "Arundel cops seize drugs" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 9:12 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Breaking news, Confronting crime

May 19, 2010

Caught in the act

Talk about getting caught in the act.

Anne Arundel County police are seeking these young men for breaking into a mall:

On May 9, 2010, the pictured suspects entered the Radio Shack located inside the Annapolis Mall and stole seven Apple I-phones valued at over $4,000. The suspects spent several minutes browsing when the suspect wearing the white t-shirt began to distract an employee. The other two suspects then went to the rear of the store and removed the items. Anyone with information on this crime or these suspects is urged to contact Detective Mark Shawkey of the Southern District Detective Unit at (410) 222-1960(65).


Posted by Peter Hermann at 11:48 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Breaking news, Confronting crime

May 17, 2010

Longtime Arundel police press aide dies

Florence Steffen was a sweetheart with a gruf voice -- she loved reporters but she'd never let on. She loved gossip but she did her best to preserve the dignity and privacy of people whose names appeared in piles of reports in the Anne Arundel County Police Department.

Every morning reporters from the Baltimore Sun and the Annapolis Capital plowed through the robberies and the break-ins, the car accidents and the assaults, the domestics and the shootings, looking to fill blotters and briefs, and maybe, if we were lucky, find a story or two.

Florence died Saturday at the age of 79, and for 35 years with Arundel police she was the keeper of the reports, the guardian of what did and did not appear in the paper, the gatekeeper to countless spokespeople. Get on her good side and you had good copy for your editor.

She hated the fact that phone numbers appeared on police reports and the unwritten rule many years ago was that reporters didn't look at them. For us at The Sun, this was easy -- simply copy the number down and call later. Our deadlines didn't loom until evening. But pitty the Capital reporter who was on deadline, and had to go through the motions of pulling out the phone book (pre-Internet, I remind you) and pretending to find the number that was on the report.

Anne Arundel County police put out a tribue to Florence. Here it is:

Continue reading "Longtime Arundel police press aide dies" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 11:14 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Breaking news, Top brass

Body identified as missing Baltimore man

A body found in a shallow grave in Linthicum on Saturday was that of a missing Baltimore man, and state police say his death is being investigated as a homicide. In a news release sent out late Sunday, police confirmed that the body was that of Matthew C. Martin, 31, who was last seen in Locust Point on April 9. Fliers were posted throughout South Baltimore.

State police said an autopsy determined that Martin had been killed, though they did not release the cause of death. That is an investigative technique used to aid detectives, as only the killer or those involved might know the manner in which Martin was killed. 

An emotional letter was posted on Craigslist a few weeks after Martin's disappearance, imploring anyone with information to come forward. Here's an excerpt: 

Continue reading "Body identified as missing Baltimore man" »

Posted by Justin Fenton at 1:10 AM | | Comments (35)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, South Baltimore

May 10, 2010

Four dead in weekend violence; man carjacked in AA County and left in city

The weekend saw at least seven shootings in Baltimore, three of them fatal, and news of an arrest in the strangling of a pregnant woman in the Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello neighborhood.

Police said a white man was shot in the neck and died on the scene in the 500 block of N. Collington Ave. in East Baltimore at about 6 p.m. Saturday. Four hours later, two black men were found dead in a vehicle that had its engine running in the 900 block of North Hill Drive., in the Ednor-Gardens-Lakeside community of Northeast Baltimore. None of those victims had been identified as of this morning and police were not able to provide any new information about the crimes.

An insignificant but odd fact: there was not a single white homicide victim in the city until May 5, a span in which 58 people were killed. The next four city victims were all white: a homeless man found beaten to death in West Baltimore, a man beaten to death outside a Brooklyn bar, a 29-year-old pregnant woman strangled by her boyfriend, and Saturday's victim. The city's total now stands at 64 homicides for the year, compared with 80 at this time last year. That's a drop of 20 percent, but the pace is slowly evening out.

In other news, Anne Arundel County police reported this morning that a 28-year-old man was forced into the trunk of his own vehicle on Saturday in the 800 block of Nursery Road in Linthicum, and driven into Baltimore. The suspect took his wallet and cell phone and drove off in the vehicle, a 1998 gold Chevrolet Cavalier. It was not immediately clear where in the city the man was taken in Baltimore, but police believe the victim and suspect had met as part of a planned meeting and that the motive may have been drug-related.

Continue reading "Four dead in weekend violence; man carjacked in AA County and left in city" »

April 30, 2010

Man who stole while in halfway house is going away for 20 years

Davon James Hall was given a chance. Sentenced to a halfway house after being convicted on federal robbery charges, federal prosecutors say Hall went on to continue stealing. He was charged in eight robberies in Linthicum, Glen Burnie, Timonium, and Columbia, sticking up hotels and an EZ Storage facility with an imitation gun and making off with more than $2,000 cash total.The robberies occurred over a span of less than three months in the summer of 2009.

Hall, 25, isn't getting off so easy this time. Today, U.S. District Court Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced him to 20 years in federal prison for assault with intent to commit robbery of United States property using a dangerous weapon and eight counts of interfering with commerce by robbery.

April 28, 2010

Violent crime busts in Arundel

Some breaking news out of Anne Arundel County police.

Authorities just announced arrests in a 6-month investigation into drugs and shootings in the Brooklyn Park area:

The operation initiated in October of 2009 and concluded in April of 2010 with the objectives of identifying and targeting offenders involved in street level drug violations and illegal gang activity, gathering criminal intelligence and developing investigative leads pertaining to other criminal activity, and reducing violent crime in the area while increasing safety and security for the residents of Brooklyn Park.
 During the course of the investigation, eight search warrants were executed on residences and two search warrants were executed on vehicles. Information was submitted to the State’s Attorney’s Office on two of the residences for possible nuisance house violations as these addresses have had multiple drug and nuisance complaints in recent years.

We've uploaded pictures of the suspects. More from the police statement:

Continue reading "Violent crime busts in Arundel" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 8:30 AM | | Comments (17)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Breaking news, Confronting crime, Gangs

March 16, 2010

Serial rapist sought

Authorities have linked rapes in Denton, Annapolis and Frederick to one man through DNA. Now, police just need to attach a name to the forensic evidence for crime that occurred over a span of 70 miles and three years.

Andrea F. Siegel reports today on the surprise link that could help finally catch a suspect, starting with an attack in Annapolis on Nov. 25, 2004, whena 41-year-old woman heading home on Forest Drive was pulled inside a small red car and attacked by a passenger.

The other attacks occurred Feb. 6 2005 in Brooklyn in South Baltimore and April 9, 2007 by a man who gave her a ride. In each case, the woman was pulled or lured into a car while walking along a street.

Anyone with information is urged to call 410-222-1740 in Anne Arundel County, 410-396-2076 in Baltimore or 410-479-1414 in Denton.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 7:35 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Breaking news

February 24, 2010

Tactical raids common in area

Heavily armed tactical police in Prince George's County raid more homes than any other law enforcement agency in the state, according to newly released data from the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention.

In the last six months of 2009, police there conducted 195 tactical entries, 105 involving crime deemed nonserious felonies and misdemeanors. That's compared with 84 such raids in Baltimore (at left, a scene from a barricade in East Baltimore in 2007) over the same time period, 63 in Baltimore County, 16 in Harford, 22 in Carroll and 27 in Howard.

Lawmakers in Annapolis required police accross Maryland to submit the data after a mayor of Berwyn Heights was hancuffed by sheriffs deputies who burst into his home with automatic weapons and shot his two dogs. Drug dealers had sent packages of marijuana to unsuspecting homeowners and waited until postal carriers left them on front porches, with the hopes of intercepting them before the owners came home. Police had intercepted the package sent to Mayor Cheye Calvo's house and suspected he was the actual recipient. He was cleared of any wrongdoing.

But police agencies steadfastly stood by their tactics. Calvo has sued Prince George's County, arguing that police there routinely use SWAT team tactics on even the most routine of raids, and that the raid on his house could've been avoided with a little prior investigation. Calvo told me he believes the numbers given to the state back his claim.

Unfortunately all we have are spreadsheets. There is no narrative, so what we don't know is even on routine raids whether police believe the targets had guns. For those interested in revewing some of the raw data:

Baltimore City; Baltimore County; Anne Arundel County; Howard County; Prince George's County

A Prince George's County police spokeswoman told me that even in cases where minor crimes are alleged, most are for drugs, and police assume there are weapons. That makes a tactical entry necessary.

But the argument still is that police, since the Sept. 11 attacks, have armed themselves like never before and are increasingly using military-style tactics that amount to paramilitary like operations to arrest people wanted on crimes that involve small amounts of drugs. Calvo said police last year raided a house in his neighborhood looking for someone wanted for writing bad checks.

The statistics compiled on police raids give a broad picture of how the tactic is used in Maryland. Of the 806 raids conducted in the six-month period, more than 94 percent stemmed from search or arrest warrants. Most of the others came as the result of a barricade situation.

Police forced their way into 545 houses, seized property in 633 of the raids, made arrests 485 times and discharged their weapons five times. In the six months studied, seven civilians were hurt but none killed, and two animals were injured and two killed.

Baltimore police listed raid sites by ZIP code, with the most, 22, in Northwest Baltimore, followed by 14 in parts of East and Northeast Baltimore. There were nine in Waverly, four in Govans and five in Highlandtown.

In Baltimore County, police conducted the most raids in Halethorpe (nine), Dundalk (eight) and seven each in Essex and Middle River. Howard County police conducted the most raids in Columbia, 13. Anne Arundel County authorities performed the most raids in Glen Burnie, 20, with eight in Brooklyn Park and six in Laurel.

February 22, 2010

Former Annapolis alderman gets weekend in jail for groping Midshipman

The Sun's Andrea Siegel is reporting that former Annapolis alderman and mayoral candidate Samuel E. Shropshire was sentenced Monday to a weekend in jail and two years of supervised probation for groping the crotch of a Naval Academy midshipman last May.

Shropshire, 62, was convicted in December of second-degree assault and fourth-degree sex offense by Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Paul F. Harris Jr. Shropshire is to serve his sentence this weekend.

Posted by Justin Fenton at 5:43 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

February 17, 2010

Hospital cafe robbed, man sought

Anne Arundel County police have released this photo of a  man suspected of holding up a cafe worker at the Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie.

Police said the robbery occurred shortly after 8 p.m. on Valentine's Day, at closing time, when a man approached a female clerk from behind, threatened her with a knife and demanded money from the cash register.

Here is a statement from authorities:

On February 14, 2010, at approximately 8:13 p.m., officers from the Eastern District responded to the Baltimore Washington Medical Center located in the 300 block of Hospital Drive in Glen Burnie for a report of an armed robbery that occurred at the Café located inside of the hospital.

Upon arrival, officers spoke with the victim, a female clerk, who reported that a male suspect entered the store at closing time and approached her from behind. The suspect then displayed a knife and demanded money from the cash register.

Continue reading "Hospital cafe robbed, man sought" »

Posted by Peter Hermann at 9:53 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Anne Arundel County, Breaking news

February 15, 2010

Arundel sheriff clears warrants with candy stunt

Anne Arundel County Sheriff Ron Bateman was at it again over the weekend, clearing about 50 unserved warrants through a stunt that involved contacting suspects and telling them someone had sent them a candygram. Expecting a Valentine's Day treat, the suspects confirmed their identity and agreed to be there to accept the delivery. They were then served with the outstanding warrants.

Bateman has tried the Valentine's Day stunt before, and once partnered with the Comptroller's office to lure suspects with the promise of tax refunds. With over 8,500 unserved warrants, its hardly made a dent in the overall backlog - but Bateman hopes it sends a message to fugitives. At the very least, it garners Bateman some easy publicity.

Posted by Justin Fenton at 10:15 AM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

February 12, 2010

Glen Burnie crimes thwarted by snow, plow

Two stories out of Glen Burnie in Anne Arundel County today in which police say snow helped to catch suspected criminals. The Sun's Andrea Siegel reports:

In the first incident, a man plowing snow prevented two people he suspected had broken into a business from driving away with armloads of clothing, police said. The man was plowing snow from the parking lot of Athletic Warehouse in the first block of Mountain Road at about 6:30 a.m. Sunday when he saw two men carrying clothes run from the business, he told police. The plow driver used his truck to block their SUV from leaving and they ran away, police said.

In the second, police said footprints in the snow led police officers to a man they believe had just broken into his neighbor's Glen Burnie home Wednesday morning. A 39-year-old woman heard glass break around 2:28 a.m. in her home in the 200 block of Queen Anne Road and went to investigate, he said. When she encountered a man, he ran out, police said.

Posted by Justin Fenton at 5:28 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Anne Arundel County

January 12, 2010

"A Trail of Deception": An update

The Sun's Nicole Fuller filed an update on Matthew Haarhoff, the troubled son of serial con woman Cindy McKay. I profiled McKay in a three-part series in 2008 (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), tracking her lifetime of crimes across three different states. At one time a Prince George's County police cadet, McKay was a brazen thief, convicted of embezzling $250,000 from the St. Mary's Seminary in Roland Park, faking her own suicide in Ocean City, changing her name and appearance and stealing from an elderly woman in Delaware. After her release from prison, she was arrested and charged with killing boyfriend Tony Fertitta, who she had been stealing from and whose body was found burning on a roadside in Millersville. Her sons - two of her six children - were implicated in the crime. Fire was somewhat of a common theme - earlier, an Annapolis business she had been stealing from burned down, and in 2002, she escaped a house fire that killed her then-husband.


Matthew Haarhoff

Haarhoff was one of the major factors in pulling that series together. Not long after I took over the Anne Arundel County courts beat, I did a short piece on his brother, Christopher, who had pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact. The case intrigued me - a mom accused of having her sons help her dispose of her boyfriend's body. A little digging revealed that some of her other exploits had been covered - briefly - in the media, but no one had spun a complete tale.  That's when a letter arrived in the mail.


"My name is Matthew Haarhoff. You wrote an article on my brother Christopher Haarhoff, it was pertaining to his role in my mother's boyfriends killing. I'd like to meet with you, only you. No cameras or recorders. However, you may take notes. I completely understand that your [sic] in a position in which the police and prosecutors are being "hush hush" with certain things ... I've yet to contact any of your rival newspapers. I will throw a nice piece of bait out there, that no doubt you will bite at. I will keep you updated with inside information I get from my lawyer. "

"...Furthermore, Ms. McKay didn't escape from the fire in 2002, I saved her life before she ever told me she murdered him."

Attached to the letter was the first several pages of the Anne Arundel County Police homicide unit's investigation into Fertitta's death - the comprehensive notes turned over to a defendant before trial. 


Haarhoff's initial note to me was chilling, from referring to his mother as "Ms. McKay" to mentioning my "rival newspapers" and the whole "throwing a nice piece of bait out there that no doubt you will bite at" part, to calmly slipping in at the end an allegation that his mother had killed her previous husband.

That letter began a series of meetings at the Anne Arundel County Detention Center. Sometimes we'd meet often, other times, weeks went by. He turned over more than 500 pages of discovery, and notes his mother had written to him while they were both locked up. He was hopeful that I'd write a story that would free him (he spent two years in jail awaiting trial), but his story was troubling. I pressed him aggressively, trying to pin him down in a lie, sometimes waiting weeks to go back and ask the question a different way. I've told people privately that I have no idea whether he was involved, but what's clear is that his mother had a powerful grip on him even from the women's prison in Jessup.

When he was finally released from jail following the plea agreement, I went with Haarhoff and his half-sister and her family to a park in Dundalk, where the 20-year-old with a lost childhood played on the jungle gym. I won't go into details, but it was painfully obvious that Haarhoff was going to have a tough time getting his feet set and getting on the right track. He told me he wanted to start a family.

"Having the chance to establish who I am and where I want to be in my life, I think that'll help me," he said. "I plan on doing right for myself and the family I want to have, and if I can't be there for them, then I'm going to look at myself as a failure."


Posted by Justin Fenton at 8:57 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Anne Arundel County
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About Peter Hermann
Peter Hermann started covering news for The Baltimore Sun in 1990, first in Anne Arundel County and, starting in 1994, reporting on the Baltimore Police Department. In 2001, he was assigned to Jerusalem as the Baltimore Sun's Middle East correspondent. He returned in 2005 as an assistant city editor overseeing crime coverage. In 2008, Peter returned to the beat as a daily reporter and blogger. A recent BBC report featured him in a segment on the harsh realities of covering crime in Baltimore.

Coverage will focus on crime trends, problems in neighborhoods in the city and elsewhere, profiles of victims and police officers and try to offer readers a fresh perspective on one of the most vexing issues facing Baltimore and its future.

Contributing to this blog is Justin Fenton, who joined The Sun in 2005 and has covered the Baltimore City Police Department and the criminal justice system since 2008. His work includes an investigation into Cal Ripken Jr.’s minor league baseball stadium deal with his hometown of Aberdeen, a three-part series chronicling a ruthless con woman, coverage of the killing of five Amish children at a schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pa., and a job swap with a British crime reporter to explore differences in crime-fighting. A special report looking into how city police handle rape cases led to sweeping reforms that changed the way sexual assaults are investigated in Baltimore. He was recognized as the best reporter in Baltimore by the City Paper in 2010 and by Baltimore Magazine in 2011.

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