Police and Fire scan

Police and Fire scan

November 28, 1990


UNION BRIDGE - Howard County police have charged a Union Bridge man with assault with intent to murder in connection with the stabbing of an off-duty Laurel officer Sunday during a roadside argument on Interstate 70, court records said.

Police detectives are asking anyone who witnessed the argument, which occurred during heavy traffic, to notify them with additional information.

The police officer, Joseph Thomas Jr., 30, was released Monday from the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore after being treated for nine stab wounds to the back, thigh, arms and hand.

Charged in the assault is Ronald D. Thomas, 33, of the 11000 block of Arlington Mill Road, who police said became involved in an argument with the officer at 7:40 p.m. along I-70 near Route 97.

Ronald Thomas, who is no relation to Joseph Thomas, also has been charged with carrying a concealed deadly weapon, assault with intent to maim, and assault and battery. He was released from the Howard County Detention Center on $25,000 bond.

Court charging papers say that Joseph Thomas was riding west on his motorcycle when he noticed that a pickup truck was following closely behind him with its bright headlights on. Joseph Thomas was in the center lane but was unable to change lanes because of heavy traffic, court papers say.

The truck following behind him, operated by Ronald Thomas, passed the motorcycle on the left but still was partially in the center lane, police said. The motorcyclist had to move sharply to the right to avoid a collision and almost lost control, police said.

Court records say the motorcycle skidded to a stop on the road shoulder.

The pickup truck also pulled over. Joseph Thomas' wife and two children, who were traveling in a car a short distance ahead of the motorcycle, also pulled off on the shoulder, police said.

Ronald Thomas left the truck and approached Joseph Thomas, who asked the truck driver why he was operating in a reckless manner, court records said.

Ronald Thomas then became irate and "got up in Joseph Thomas' face," after which the off-duty officer identified himself as a police officer and flashed his police badge.

The officer said he smelled an odor of alcohol on the truck driver's breath and informed him that he could be arrested for driving while intoxicated, records said.

"Ronald Thomas replied that he didn't care who Joseph Thomas was and reached into his back pocket. Joseph Thomas, fearing for his safety, pulled a handgun from his jacket and displayed it to Ronald Thomas," the records said.

A struggle began between the two men and Ronald Thomas repeatedly stabbed the off-duty officer with a folding buck knife, police said. The weapon was knocked away during the struggle and was later recovered in grass along the roadway.

Ronald Thomas suffered minor cuts in the struggle and ran from the area to a nearby house, where the residents notified police and the hospital after viewing his injuries, police said.


Crime Solvers, a volunteer group that assists area police, is asking residents to help solve the Crime of the Week.

This week, the group is targeting the theft of four truck tires from the front yard of a home off Bachman Valley Road in Westminster.

Police believe the crime occurred during the late evening or early morning hours of Oct. 10.

Stolen were four Goodyear brand truck tires mounted on wheels, police said.

If you have any information about this crime, or believe you may know who is involved, please call Crime Solvers at (800) 562-TIPS.

You do not need to give your name, and if your information leads to an arrest, you could earn up to a $1,000 reward.



UNION BRIDGE -- A 19-year-old Bucher John Road man was injured Saturday when a truck engine he was trying to jump start caught fire, officials said.

Officials said Lee Thomas Barnes Jr. and Joseph Colson of Union Bridge were trying to start a 1984 Ford pickup truck when the fire erupted.

Barnes apparently poured gasoline into the truck's carburetor, fire officials said.

He suffered second-degree burns on his neck and abdomen.

Barnes was treated at the scene by Union Bridge paramedics and was later flown by state police helicopter to the Baltimore Regional Burn Unit at Francis Scott Key Hospital.

He was discharged from the hospital Tuesday.



WESTMINSTER -- State police have announced the conclusion of Operation Wolf Pack, a special traffic enforcement program started in early October.

From Oct. 4 to Nov. 17, troopers from the Westminster barracks concentrated on routes 140, 30 and 26 during peak evening hours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.

During the seven-week patrol period, police made 12 arrests for driving while intoxicated, wrote 194 citations for moving violations, wrote 112 warnings for moving violations and made one drug arrest.


Here is a compilation of the fire and rescue calls to the Emergency Operations Center:

Nov. 25

11:08 a.m., Manchester responded to a brush fire on Main Street.

Nov. 26

10:57 a.m., Reese responded to a woods fire on Sandymount Road.

11:03 a.m., Sykesville and West Friendship responded to a fire alarm on Third Avenue.

12:21 p.m., New Windsor and Westminster responded to a field fire on Chapel Road.

3:28 p.m., Sykesville responded to a field fire on Ridge Road.

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