Posted On: December 30, 2010

Maryland Man Arrested for String of Robberies in Delaware and Maryland

A Maryland man was recently arrested for a series of armed robberies in Maryland and Delaware, according to DelawareOnline.com.

The 31-year-old man was charged with 12 counts of first-degree robbery as well as possessing a deadly firearm, and one count of theft of a firearm in Delaware. Maryland police were also seeking the man as a suspect for an alleged armed robbery and carjacking near Elkton. The police claim that the suspect forced an elderly man to drive him into Wilmington, where he robbed a restaurant. The suspect was captured at a McDonald’s in Newark as he was getting into his girlfriend’s van.

The suspect has been accused of committing 12 robberies in businesses in Glasgow, Wilmington, and Christiana. The suspect is being held in jail after failing to post bond. He is awaiting extradition to Maryland to face robbery charges there.

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Posted On: December 29, 2010

Chemical Mix-Up for Capital Beltway Pre-Treatment Causes Car Accidents

A chemical mix-up resulted in the Capital Beltway being turned into a sheet of ice earlier this month, according to WashingtonPost.com.

Maryland’s State Highway Administration (SHA) saw there was a chance of snow for the weekend of December 3, and decided to pre-treat the Beltway, rather than focusing only on bridges and overpasses. Typically, to de-ice roads, the SHA uses a salt brine mixture, which consists of about 77 percent water and 23 percent salt. However, there was a mistake and two tank trucks were accidentally given liquid magnesium to spray on the roads. Liquid magnesium can work well for melting snow and ice on the road, but needs to be mixed with another substance before being sprayed. In this case, the trucks sprayed pure liquid magnesium on the Capital Beltway.

When sprayed on dry roads in warmer conditions, liquid magnesium becomes very slick. Almost immediately after the trucks were done treating the roads, the SHA began receiving accident reports, which were the result of the icy roads. At least eight car accidents have been blamed on the chemical mistake, and four people were taken to local hospitals with minor injuries. Officials discovered the error and immediately sent out salt and sand trucks. They claim the mistake was made because the trucks were not reset after last winter.

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Posted On: December 17, 2010

U.S. Immigration Officials Arrest 18 Illegal Aliens Charged with DUIs

Last month, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reported that their officers arrested 18 immigration fugitives and violators in Maryland during a three-day enforcement operation. Almost all of them had been convicted of driving under the influence. Of the 18 that were taken into custody, 13 were fugitives who had been ordered to leave the country by authorities, and two had been previously deported but returned to the U.S. illegally.

The operation was led by ICE’s Fugitive Operations Program, which is responsible for finding and removing criminal aliens, as well as immigration fugitives. The individuals who are most sought after are those who are involved in street gangs, those who pose a threat to national security, child sex offenders, and those who have received a DUI. This year, the Fugitive Operations Program has made almost 31,000 arrests nationwide. In Baltimore, 756 arrests were made. The 18 who were arrested last month are being held in custody pending removal from the U.S.

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Posted On: December 15, 2010

FBI Takes Over Investigation of University of Maryland Student’s Assault by Police

The FBI has taken over the investigation into an alleged beating of a University of Maryland student by three Prince George County police officers that reportedly occurred on March 3 of this year, according to The Washington Post.

The alleged assault occurred during a celebration of the University of Maryland’s basketball win over Duke University, and was caught on tape. The student suffered several injuries, including a concussion. The three police officers involved remain suspended or on desk duty while the investigation into the incident is conducted. An internal affairs investigation by the police has almost been completed, but it has been put on hold.

Federal authorities had been observing the work of local prosecutors on the case for several months. Last week, federal officials visited the homes of 40 officers who were working on the night of the apparent assault. However, they have now started interviewing witnesses and have been gathering evidence, including footage from college cameras, emails, and texts from cell phones of police officers at the scene of the crime, as well as obtaining statements from the officers on duty. The FBI has not commented publicly on why federal agents have taken over the investigation, or whether charges are going to be filed. The incident may be pursued as a civil rights case. Charges may also be filed under state law.

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Posted On: December 13, 2010

Family of Cyclist Killed in Baltimore Truck Accident Settles for $5 Million

A case stemming from a 2009 Baltimore accident between a tanker truck and a bicyclist has settled for $5 million, according to The Baltimore Sun. In August of 2009, a 67-year-old bicyclist was riding behind a tanker truck when the truck made a right turn. The bicyclist got caught in the truck’s rear wheels and was killed. The family of the bicyclist sued the truck driver and his employer for $5 million for a wrongful death.

However, investigators found that the bicyclist was at-fault in the crash. An attorney for the family called the investigation “"one of the sloppiest investigations in a fatality that I personally have seen in years."

The truck driver did not stop at the scene of the accident, and no charges were filed against him. Investigators believe that the driver was not aware that the accident had even taken place. The truck driver was located when police discovered the truck at his employer’s service yard and it matched a video of the truck from a nearby surveillance camera. DNA was lifted from the vehicle that matched the bicyclist’s.

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Posted On: December 10, 2010

Attempted Murder Charges Dropped Against Man Arrested for Maryland Knife Incident

Recently, a man who allegedly attacked three University of Maryland students and another man with a knife outside a bar had the most serious charges against him dropped, according to The Washington Post. The man had been charged with attempted murder and other crimes in connection with the attack. Prosecutors have dropped the attempted murder charges, but are still seeking charges for second-degree assault.

The Maryland knife incident occurred outside a bar. After the incident, the man fled the scene and shaved his head in an attempt to disguise himself. However, his picture was caught on a surveillance camera and family members convinced him to turn himself in. Upon further investigation, police found additional surveillance video that showed the man was actually acting in self defense. He was attacked and beaten by several individuals inside the bar, which apparently led to the knife incident outside. The people who were attacked were too intoxicated to tell what happened, and none of their injuries were life-threatening. The bar in which the incident occurred has forfeited its liquor license as a result of the attack.

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Posted On: December 9, 2010

Baltimore Listed as 11th Most Dangerous City in U.S.

An annual report on city crime statistics ranks Baltimore, Maryland as number 11 on the list of the most dangerous cities in the United States, according to WBALTV.

The report was published by CQ Press, an independent publisher and was released on Sunday, November 21. Each city’s murder, aggravated assault, rape, burglary, robbery, and motor vehicle theft rates were taken into account when determining how dangerous a city was for the year 2009. Last year, Baltimore was ranked number 12. Overall, St. Louis, Missouri was named the most dangerous city in the nation, surpassing Camden, New Jersey. The national average of violent crime is 429.4 per 100,000 residents, while St. Louis reported 2,070.1 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2009. Rounding out the top five most dangerous cities in the U.S. were Detroit, Michigan; Flint, Michigan; and Oakland, California. For the second year in a row, Colonie, New York was named the safest city with over 75,000 residents in America.

For the report, crime data and population numbers were collected by the FBI. However, some criminologists question whether the methodology is fair and say the statistics and rankings should be questioned.

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Posted On: December 8, 2010

Baltimore Police Investigate Murder of Correctional Officer

Early Sunday morning, November 21, a 28-year-old woman who worked as a correctional officer was found shot to death in a friend’s home in east Baltimore, reports The Baltimore Sun. She died from her gunshot wounds later that day.

The morning before, Saturday, November 20, her neighbors reported that the woman and her live-in boyfriend got into a loud argument at approximately 4:30 a.m. Police were called to the scene to stop the domestic dispute. Neighbors report that the woman then left to stay at a friend’s. When detectives searched her apartment for clues the next day, they discovered blood on the door. Believing the killer was inside, they called hostage negotiators and blocked off the street. After a three-hour standoff, it was determined the apartment was empty.

Many of the woman’s neighbors had known her since she was a young girl and are stricken by grief and shock. Officially, police have not stated whether the woman’s boyfriend is a suspect in the Baltimore murder case, but they do report that they have not yet spoken with him. The woman had a three-year-old daughter from a previous relationship who is now with family members.

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