Fugitive captured on roof of house Man had fled from hospital

January 09, 1991|By William B. Talbott and Bruce Reid | William B. Talbott and Bruce Reid,Evening Sun Staff

A man who had feigned paralysis and escaped from police custody at a hospital Sunday was arrested today on the roof of an East Baltimore rowhouse.

Oswald Gerald Trayham, 20, who police said has no permanent address, was arrested about 10:30 a.m. atop a three-story rowhouse in the 1200 block of E. Preston St. The arrest came after a tip that Trayham was in the house. He surrendered without a struggle, police said.

Trayham was charged with escape, two counts of robbery, kidnapping, assault and a handgun violation.

Police said the house was rented by three young women and a young man in a wheelchair. Police said Trayham and the people who lived in the house were friends. The women were taken to police headquarters for questioning.

During his escape Sunday, Trayham overpowered city police Officer Charles Walker at Johns Hopkins Hospital and took the officer's gun, gun belt and leather jacket, police said.

After a search today, police found the officer's gun in the chimney of the Preston Street house and his jacket in the rear yard of a home in the 800 block of N. Durham St., near Hopkins. Police were still searching for the officer's gun belt.

Trayham had been arrested Sunday on a charge of illegal possession of a handgun. During that earlier arrest, he scuffled with police and then said he had become paralyzed from the waist down. He was taken to Hopkins for tests.

Before his escape, Trayham had been released from handcuffs so he could eat. But he jumped out of bed and held a knife to the officer's throat. He then forced a security guard to give up his trousers. Using a nurse as a shield, he fled the hospital. Trayham released the nurse unharmed just outside the hospital, police said.

As he left the hospital, Trayham fired four shots at other police officers, investigators said. He then ran into a building in the 800 block of Rutland Ave. but was not found.

Police added that Trayham had suffered a gunshot wound to a leg since his escape. The wound apparently did not occur during the escape. Police said they did not fire at Trayham.

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