SCHOOL AND NINE CARS DEFACED WITH GRAFFITI
County police are investigating the vandalism of nine cars defaced with graffiti Thursday morning in residential areas near Phelps Luck Elementary School, where the vandals also painted profanity and other statements on an exterior wall.
Police say the graffiti ranged from profanity to statements such as "Hi" and "Be kind to your school." The vandalism apparently occurred sometime during the early morning hours on Thursday, said Sgt. Gary L. Gardner, a police spokesman.
The cars had been parked overnight in residential areas surrounding the school, located in the 5300 block of Oldstone Court in Columbia, Gardner said. It is not known how many vandals were involved, he said.
None of the vehicles' owners reported anything missing from their cars.
The painting appears to have been done as a prank, said Gardner, who said that police had no suspects in the incident.
DRIVER'S CAR STRIKES POLE, THEN IGNITES
A Columbia man suffered serious abdominal injuries Tuesday when he was thrown from a car that struck a utility pole on Route 175 near Dobbin Road, county police said.
Lenwood Green, 34, was listed in satisfactory and stable condition Friday at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore with internal injuries he suffered in the accident, which occurred shortly before 1:05 a.m.
Green was heading west on Route 175 when he lost control of the car and struck the utility pole a short distance away from the Dobbin Road intersection, police said. Green was thrown onto a grass median strip and the car ignited, a fire report said.
Firefighters put out the fire to the vehicle, a 1988 Pontiac, although the car appeared to be a total loss. Green was taken by ambulance to Shock Trauma.
No other vehicles were involved in the accident, which is still under investigation by county police.
TWO COUNTY PARK FIRES UNDER INVESTIGATION
The state Fire Marshal's office is investigating two suspicious fires that were set Thursday in trash cans at Columbia parks operated by the county Department of Recreation and Parks.
The first fire was reported at 5:40 p.m. at Atholton Park in the 6800 block of Donleigh Drive, when flammable material was set ablaze in a trash can at a bathroom, said Donald R. Howell, a county fire department spokesman.
A section of the bathroom building was scorched by the fire, causing an estimated $400 worth of damage, Howell said.
At 7:30 p.m., a similar fire was reported in a trash can of the Martin Road Park in the 6700 block of Martin Road, Howell said. Once again, contents of the can were set on fire, causing approximately $100 damage to a nearby wall of a bathroom, a fire report said.
Howell said no suspects have been identified.
SUSPECT IN CUSTODY AFTER BANK HOLDUP
A Baltimore man was charged with armed robbery Friday in connection with a $3,000 bank holdup earlier in the day at Washington Federal Savings in Ellicott City, county police said.
Jason Matthew Bailey, 21, of the 900 block of Catawba Court was arrested shortly after the 11 a.m. robbery by an off-duty police officer who spotted him on Dunloggin Road, police said.
Police say a robber approached a bank teller with a note announcing a robbery. The teller reported she handed over the cash when the man showed her a small, dark-colored handgun, police said.
After receiving the money in a cloth bag, the gunman ran out the door and was last seen heading to the rear of the bank, which is located in the 9000 block of Frederick Road.
Police were notified and began searching the area for possible suspects, said Garyu L. Gardner, a police spokesman.
Off-duty police officer Charles Jacobs, who was operating a marked patrol car as part of the police take-home car program, spotted Bailey getting into a parked car less than a block away from the bank, Garner said.
Bailey was detained by the officer until several bank employees were able to identify him as the man they believe robbed the bank, a police report said.
County police deetectives and investigatiors from the FBI were continuing to interview Bailey at county police headquarters as of late Friday afternoon. He was expected to go before a District Court commissioner for a ball review Friday evening, police said.
TEEN-AGER INJURED IN ROUTE 99 WRECK
A teen-ager was seriously injured Wednesday when the car she was driving left Route 99 in Ellicott City and struck a utility pole, causing power loss to several hundred homes and closing the road for approximately nine hours, county police and rescue workers said.
Injured in the accident was Rene Cunningham, 18, of the 3000 block of Old Columbia Pike i Ellicott City, who suffered neck and back injuries, rescue workers said. She was listed in serious but stable condition Friday afternoon at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.
A passengeer in the car, Moneka Carroll, 15, of the 36oo block of Mount Ida Drive in Ellicott City, suffered a leg injury and was treated at Howard County General Hospital.
The accident occurred at approximately 10 p.m. near King's Arms Tavern, police said. Downed power lines from the utility pole required the roadway to be closed until the scence was cleared at 7 a.m. Thursday, fire officials said.
Police are investigating the cause of the accident.