Saturday, July 28, 2007

July 28

Horrid. Donald Webb Jr. shot his 13-year-old son and his wife, wounding to the boy and killing his mother in the 900 block of West Lombard Street.

Nathaniel Treat, a 27-year-old Annapolis man was recovering at Johns Hopkins Hospital yesterday after he was stabbed three times in the stomach while trying to save someone he saw being beaten in Charles Village.

One instance and one quote is no argument for any kind of trend, but it does give Greg Kane the opportunity to bitch about that perinneal Baltimore juror, The Lady Who Won't Convict The Black Man.
This should be good! Mayoral candidate Del. Jill Carter will co-host the Ed Norris Show this Monday from 11-1.

City council candidate Adam Meister will be guest-bartending upstairs at the Ottobar tonight from 5:30-8:30, with tips going to the campaign. Downstairs, a collection of "the wildest, weirdest, most obscene bands".

Friday, July 27, 2007


Today a Baltimore City jury convicted Elliott McLain, 31, of the 5200 block of St. Charles Ave. of first degree murder, conspiracy and other related handgun counts. The jury deliberated for approximately one day following four days of testimony. Judge Robert Kershaw will sentence McLain October 3, 2007. He faces a maximum possible term of life plus life plus 25 years in prison. Details from the SA's office, edited for clarity:
On June 1, 2004 at approximately 1 a.m. in the 600 block of Hazel Street, McLain and co-defendant Kevin Fletcher approach the victim, Tidell Harris, on the street. They each pulled a gun. Fifteen shots were fired and the victim was hit five times, twice in the chest and three in the face and head. Harris was pronounced dead at the scene. Fletcher confessed and had a plea deal in which he was to testify against McLain (Life, suspend all but 25 years). But Fletcher refused to testify in January when called to the stand during a pretrial motions hearing, so the court sentenced Fletcher to life in prison plus 20 years. Fletcher did testify in this case but his court testimony was inconsistent with his taped police confession, which was played in court. Assistant State’s Attorney Tonya LaPolla of the FIVE Division prosecuted this case.
Thirty-four-year-old Ida Susan Robinson pled guilty and got 20 years for stabbing her shack-up boyfriend to death in front of his eight-year-old son in Woodlawn.

An eagle-eyed PA trooper apprehended Lorenzo Presha II, wanted for rape in the county.

Whatever did they talk about? Dixon and Ed Norris met privately at a Hunt Valley hotel bar.
('on the QT'? What does that stand for?)

July 27 - the 1,000th post

Samuel Epps, 30, was chased and then shot to death at about 2:15 a.m. in the 1700 block of W. Baltimore Street.
And the victim found in the trunk of the car was indeed a homicide, killed by blunt-force trauma.

J'heart Judge Brooke Murdock! Not only did she shoot down the state's same-sex marraige ban, but she Reservoir Hill drug dealer Omar Parker the full 20 years for witness intimidation.

This week's Ink provides names and more details for last week's victims.

Maryland's Court of Appeals ruled that says that police officers can be sued for libel if they make false statements to obtain a search warrant.

Robert Paul LaytonEleven boys have come forward to accuse Dundalk perv Robert Paul Layton of various sex offenses. He also faces federal indictment on child pornography charges. Gross. You may remember Layton as the guy with a pool table in his basement who plied young boys with booze and weed (<- WBAL audio link from last February).

In HoCo, Pastor Gerald Griffith, 41, got 15 years yesterday on two counts of sexual abuse of a minor.

Following the Michael Vick business, Baltimore is stepping up its investigaton of dogfights.

Some half-baked and twisted Chubby Hubbies broke three glass windows at the Inner Harbor Ben & Jerry's.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

July 26

Baltimore City has identified five of its schools as "perpetually dangerous": 'to get on the list, 2 1/2 percent of its student body must have been suspended for arson, possessing a weapon or drugs, assaulting a teacher or other student, or sexual assault.' The list includes 'Calverton Middle School, Thurgood Marshall Middle School, Dr. Roland Patterson Academy, Dr. W.E.B DuBois Senior High School and the Liberal Arts Academy at Walbrook Campus'. The really amazing thing? Fewer than 200 students have transfered out of those schools, despite the fact that the designation allows any student who wishes to transfer.

A Lot of Jays: Jarrett Johnson, 22; Jerard Kane, 20; and Jonathan Kane, 21, identified as the three men who shot and wounded a man early yesterday morning.

So much for that murder-free streak: Body Found in Trunk. I guess the question is when, and how, he died. (I mean, if he was playing hide-and-seek and couldn't get back out of the trunk...)

Those thugs who acid-burned a toddler are to be tried as juveniles. Big surprise, the victim's mother wasn't happy and
broke into tears and walked out of the courtroom.

"I hope you guys are happy," the mother, Carol Duschl, later yelled at the defendants as they walked down a hallway. "A slap on the wrist. It's OK."

Drowning victim? Maybe the water in the Patapsco River is so polluted the river itself wants to get in on the homicide action!

AACo: South River High teacher gets charged for enjoying too much touching his underage students.

The Baltimore County Police Department's version of the Vietnam Memorial is "inaccessible". Wait, does Baltimore City PD have their own memorial to fallen officers? Because if Baltimore County = Vietnam, then Baltimore City = ______?

Rear Windowesque: the video of a street drug deal/robbery/shooting is on YouTube (and you can read the article, too).

An armed robbery of a Korean grocery is reported in the blogosphere after being ignored by the mass media: "Yesterday. July 25, at about 1:30 PM, three men came in to the store with handguns, and pointed them at customer's heads demanding money, cell phones, credit cards, etc.. but a BPD unit happened to be out front a few moments later (they were not alerted - just on rounds), and they captured the assailants. Today, [the owner] looked quiet, scared, sad, and uncertain. Mostly traumatized. This needs to stop - now." Amen.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

July 25

The Baltimore branch of the NAACP wants citizens to get windowastic to display their outrage over the city's homicide rate.

Yesterday, I posted about a potential plan to create a gun registry, similar to the sex registry which already exists. Orlando Yarborough can be on both registries! What a lucky guy, huh?

CNN: Processed cheese stands in for a bomb during a possible terrorist dry-run in Baltimore, and other fun news from an unclassified TSA advisory.

Either I'm confused or WJZ is confused (or maybe we're both confused): isn't a "home invasion" generally a rather violent event which happens when the family is home? Because that's sort of always how I've taken to understand the phrase. I guess it's just another way of saying "burglary", and hopefully a.) no one gets hurt and b.) they get the dog back.

Baltimore City might take lessons from Baltimore County's squadPolice CAT Squad:
"A soft-spoken guy, Martin explains how the CAT Squad operates. "You throw a rock in some water, the rock is concentrated action there,” he says. “It disperses the water. We try to do the same thing with crime, by dispersing the crime, reducing the crime and get it out of different areas."

Hey, the headline writes the blurb: Pressures dictate plea deals, But sentences in city homicide cases aren't necessarily a bargain for the convicted.

A friend of mine once said Baltimore City was a lot like Mexico City: if you stick to the touristy areas, you'll be fine. Not quite so much -- three arrested in a shooting that left a man wounded in downtown last night.

There's a tidbit in that above article: "the city's last homicide occurred Thursday afternoon." Is this deserving of a celebration or just the result of dumb luck?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

July 24

The City Police Union likes Mitchell for mayor, a decision that
the city's rank and file is dissatisfied with her policing decisions.

"We believe we will see change and progress under him," Blair [president of the city's police union] said. "And he'll be a mayor that realizes that law enforcement is very critical in the city and would make it his top priority that we're properly staffed and given the proper equipment and leadership."

Speaking of "new leadership", ex-commish Kevin Clark wants his old job back.
“As I see it, the city is in crisis, but I could turn this around in no time ... It’s my job.”

Continuing the theme of "new leadership" ... some of the "old leadership" is getting canned (er, sorry, "retiring.")

A busy weekend for police in AACo, and a bad weekend for dangerous fugitives!

There's only one thing you should be doing behind the wheel of a car: not text messaging, not reading the paper, not playing with yourself or receiving favors from your loved one leaning over from the passenger seat (remember that scene in Parenthood?). Not even daydreaming! Nope, the only thing you should be doing behind the wheel of a car is paying attention. This is a lesson Christopher Austin Carey, 17, will hopefully be more aware of in the future.

In a case of car v bike, the car wins --
An 8-year-old boy riding a bicycle was struck by a car in Southwest Baltimore shortly before 2:30 p.m. Monday and was taken to the Johns Hopkins Hospital's pediatric intensive care unit for treatment of a minor head injury, police said.
I don't think it's going too far out on a limb to say the driver "wasn't paying attention." Also: don't play in the streets, kids.

Mayor Dixon Proposes Public Registry of Gun Offenders: Too far? Or not far enough? I guess we'll know if the NRA gets itself involved.

A Baltimore resident, and member of MS-13, is off to jail. I wonder how the accommodations are?

Timothy Hartlove's sentence revisited: four years for "conspiring to distribute methamphetamine worth about $50,000." His original sentence was six years.

Former state Senator Bromwell pleads guilty for racketeering and tax evasion. A guilty politician? Perish the thought.

Monday, July 23, 2007

July 23

Maybe they've been throwing out seafood in the department's dumpster? Have you ever smelled a dumpster full of rotting fish? Gag on a stick! Seriously:
Something at the Baltimore City Police Department smells fishy to mayoral candidate Keiffer Mitchell, who on Sunday called for a federal audit of the city’s crime statistics.

The Baltimore City councilman will deliver a letter today asking for a Federal Bureau of Investigation audit, he said.

Mayoral candidate Del. Jill Carter has called for an independent audit of the city’s crime statistics, which show a 16 percent increase in homicides and a 32 percent increase in shootings, but a 17 percent decrease in violent crime.

In response, Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon’s spokesman Anthony McCarthy said, “If we can find a third party to audit crime statistics, we’re all for it.”

A long time ago I worked at a place where we made "soda missiles." We'd take bottles of soda, shake them up, stand at the top of the parking lot, and hurtle them towards the dumpster down the hill. When they hit, they'd explode. We did this when no one was around, of course (because they would've told on us). However, "soda bombs" are a bit more serious, even if hearing the term makes me chuckle:
“It’s nothing like a pipe bomb or dynamite, ... but it’s still in that category,” said Jason Mowbray, deputy chief state fire marshal.

What do the members of MADD do at a police checkpoint? Smack the drunks with rolled up pamphlets? They should!

In the blotter, lots of break-ins. Be on the lookout for the landscaper thief:
A lawnmower, three ladders, a gas-operated leaf blower and two hedge trimmers were stolen over the weekend...

Brief Update: Dan Roderick has reprinted an anonymous e-mail from a Baltimore City Police Detective regarding the state -- or lack thereof -- of police leadership in the department:
First of all, "Zero Tolerance" is not currently the "Mission Statement" of the Baltimore City Police Department. I can't tell you what the Mission Statement is, because I don't know. Many of us in the rank and file do not. I don't really even think there is one. Oh, sure, we have had "pep talks" given by then Deputy Commissioner Bealefeld (now Acting Commissioner) and by Mayor Dixon, but those speeches focused on a general idea of what needs to happen in the City. There was no clear plan laid out... just ideas such as "omnipresence" and "getting back into the community."
Before I go, I must say I hope that Mangalore Chetan (or wait, is Mangalore a place?) will write more essays about our city that go into greater depth than "A City Called Baltimore - Pride Owner of Great Ethnic Variety"
Some of the streets of Baltimore give you a feeling of being in the outskirts of Mumbai, with tiny houses, lack of hygiene, people loitering about doing nothing. ... But how did it all happen? Just in the neighborhood of the Capital of United States, such a misery?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

July 22, Evening

Hey'all! While Cybrarian's away on vay-kay-shun, I'm holding down the fort here at Bawlmerkram until her return (don't worry, she'll be back Thursday, so I won't have many opportunities to screw up, hopefully).

In AACo, guns and alcohol don't mix. Or, to be specific, badges and alcohol don't mix.

Very To Be Mildly Confusing Word Order, JayZee!, in Very Censorship Disturbing? In future, for great controversy avoidance, perhaps for to be arresting for when not anti-Bush buttons selling. (Am I overdoing it? For surely!)

July 22

A gunfight at round 2 .am. last night near Power Point Live, and 25-year-old 25-year-old army Corporal Alexander Larkin lost to a city cop.

Friday, brand-new commissioner Bealefeld took the genius step of firing notoriously unhelpful police spokesman Matt Jablow, replacing him with one Sterling Clifford. Said the CP of Jablow last September,
"he's declared himself an obstructionist to some of [the CP staff], saying we can only get information from him at the end of the statutory limits of the Maryland Public Information Act. He chalked this line for us in a threat, issued to try to keep us from printing on-the-record comments of his that he regretted. Then he took to ignoring some of our calls altogether."
Rodericks: give zero-tolerance a chance

Stat of the Day: "Blacks in the United States are imprisoned at more than five times the rate of whites, and Hispanics are locked up at nearly double the white rate," according to a study released Wednesday by the Sentencing Project, a "think tank" that opposes mandatory minimum prison terms.