A 20-year-old man in police custody at Johns Hopkins Hospital escaped yesterday evening after taking away an officer's revolver and a hospital attendant's pants, city police said.
The suspect, who claimed he had been paralyzed during his arrest Friday, ran from the hospital and fired several shots at officers who chased him.
Oswald Gerald Trayham eluded dozens of police officers for hours after his escape at 6 p.m. Officers closed most intersections around the hospital while they searched houses in the area.
Police spokesman Dennis S. Hill said Mr. Trayham had been arrested by a mounted police officer Friday on a charge of unlawful possession of a gun. There was a scuffle during the arrest, and the suspect claimed that he had been paralyzed from the waist down. He was taken to Johns Hopkins for tests.
But after Mr. Trayham finished his dinner yesterday, he assaulted the policeman guarding him in an eighth-floor room and took the officer's service revolver.
Mr. Hill said the suspect held the officer at gunpoint and took his coat. Then he took a hospital attendant's pants and fled on foot.
As he exited the hospital, Mr. Trayham was confronted by another police officer and fired two shots.
Two more police officers, walking outside the hospital, joined the chase and the suspect fired two more shots at them. No one was injured, Mr. Hill said.
The officers reported that they saw Mr. Trayham run into a vacant house on Rutland Avenue but were unable to find the fugitive when they searched the building.
A search of the area continued until about 10 p.m., and Mr. Hill said a few officers would remain near the vacant house through the early morning.
Mr. Hill said the suspect's own address was not known.