Police say 2 tried to incite racial conflict Essex man, teen face charges in Hampden

November 17, 1990|By Roger Twigg

A 20-year-old Essex man wearing a red sweat shirt bearing a swastika was arrested yesterday after allegedly trying to start a racial incident at a Hampden middle school, according to the Baltimore police.

Brian K. Wigfield was charged with two counts of assault and with trespassing on school grounds, said Agent Arlene Jenkins, a police spokeswoman. A 14-year-old youth was also charged with assault.

The incident occurred about 8:20 a.m. at the Robert Poole Jr. Middle School in the 1300 block of West 36th Street after rumors of a pend-ing racial confrontation among students.

The expected confrontation never occurred. The rumors apparently stemmed from talk of a bottle-throwing incident having taken place Tuesday off school grounds between white and black students.

The police and school officials say they received no reports of any such incident.

Nevertheless, the rumors began to spread that another confrontation was to take place.

Yesterday, Mr. Wigfield, who also had a tattoo on his chest bearing the words "white power," sported close-cropped hair and wore combat boots, went to the school to participate in the fight, according to the police.

When none developed, Mr. Wigfield allegedly assaulted two students -- one black and the other white -- who were walking together.

A 14-year-old student at the school is alleged to have also assaulted one of the youths, the police said.

Because of reported racial tensions in the area, a patrol car has been detailed to the school since the semester began in September. No problems have been reported.

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