Fourth Arrested In Columbia Fracas

Police, fire log

January 09, 1991

County police have arrested a fourth person in connection with a NewYear's Day melee at a Columbia home, in which two people were kidnapped after a man threatened them with a crowbar, a police spokesman said.

Keith Donnel Matthews, 21, of the 12800 block of Black Oak Drive in Laurel, turned himself in to police on Saturday and was chargedwith assault with intent to murder, kidnapping, and burglary, said Sgt. Gary L. Gardner.

Matthews allegedly forced two Columbia men, ages 19 and 20, to drive him to Laurel shortly after gunshots were fired at a party in the6600 block of Shady Grove Court, Gardner said. Police say Matthews threatened the two men but did not harm them.

Police say trouble atthe party began when four men were asked to leave the party, held atan apartment complex. The four men left but returned a short time later and forced their way into the residence.

During the confrontation, one man was shot in the back with a .22-caliber handgun and another was struck in the head with a baseball bat, police said. Both victims have been released from the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Three men were arrested for the assaults immediately afterthe incident, although Matthews fled the scene before officers arrived, police said.

Matthews is being held on $75,000 bond at the Howard County Detention Center.


A 20-year-old Ellicott City man who accidentally shot himself in the head on Jan. 2 died Sunday from his injuries, a hospital spokesman said.

Geoffrey Phillip Hooker of the 9000 block of Town andCountry Boulevard had been in critical condition when admitted to the Shock Trauma Center. He died at 7:55 p.m. of a bullet wound to his forehead.

Police say the accident occurred while Hooker was showing his new .44-caliber Magnum revolver to his friends, who reported hewas loading the gun while spinning the weapon's cylinder.

Hooker was drinking alcohol just prior to the shooting, police said.


A family of four was forced from their home Friday when faulty wiring in a closet set fire to a wall and caused an estimated $75,000 in damage, county firefighters said.

The home, in the 2900 block of Route 97 in Glenwood, caught fire shortly before 2 p.m., said Donald R. Howell, a county fire department spokesman. The home is owned by Warren Moyer.

Moyer, his wife, andtheir two teen-age daughters escaped from the home uninjured. They will be staying with relatives until the damage is repaired, Howell said.


Five employees of a Columbia warehouse have been charged with stealing an estimated $2.5 million worth of computer equipment over the past two years from theirworkplace, county police said.

The employees have been charged through warrants and have not yet been arrested.

The computer equipment was stolen during evening hours when supervision at the warehousewas at a minimum, police said.

Police say the equipment was stolen from the AT&T Network Systems warehouse, in the 9300 block of Gerwig Lane. Each of the employees, who police will not identify until they are arrested within the next few days, have been charged with felony theft.

Officials from AT & T contacted police in August after determining that equipment appeared to have been stolen from the warehouse, police said. The investigation into the thefts is continuing andothers may be charged, police said.


Two Baltimore men have been charged with auto theft after apolice car chase culminated in their arrests in Ellicott City, county police said.

Trevor Demond Spencer, 18, of the 4600 block of Garrison Boulevard, and Ira Arnardo McCoy, 19, of the 4000 block of FernHill Drive, were arrested at 11:15 p.m. on Ridge Road a short distance from U.S. 40 after being tracked by a police K-9 unit.

Spencer and McCoy were originally pulled over in their car shortly before 11 p.m. in the northbound lane of U.S. 29 near Route 103, but they fled moments after the patrol officer exited his cruiser, police said.

The officer followed the car, which had been reported stolen earlier in the evening from a Columbia parking lot, to U.S. 40 and Rogers Avenue. The car then pulled into a parking lot and ran into a nearby ditch off U.S. 40, police said. Both suspects fled from the car.

The K-9 unit found Spencer and McCoy in another car on Ridge Road. The car's ignition had been tampered with, police said. One other car nearby had also been tampered with, police said.

Both men were also charged with malicious destruction of property for the damage done to the cars, police said. Spencer is being held on $5,000 bond at the Howard County Detention Center, while, McCoy has been released on $1,000 bail.

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