Man, 30, charged with series of rapes in Anne Arundel

March 03, 1991|By Angela Gambill

A man suspected of a series of attacks blamed by Ann Arundel police on the "North County rapist" was arrested late Friday and charged with three rapes and a recent sex offense in which an armed intruder bound the victim's husband with her bra.

Additional charges in four other rapes -- two in Anne Arundel and two in Howard County -- may be filed tomorrow, said police spokesman V. Richard Molloy.

Michael DeVaughn Armstead, 30, who was living in the Ritchie Motel in Brooklyn, was also charged with three counts of breaking and entering, one of attempted breaking and entering and a handgun violation.

Officer Molloy said northern Arundel residents had become increasingly nervous after five rapes in the last year and a half.

A lieutenant in the county's sex-crimes unit met with a worried community group last week and guaranteed that "we'd get him," Officer Molloy said.

"The police kept their word," he said. "We got lucky."

The arrest occurred when county sex offense officers on stakeouts for the rapist responded to a breaking-and-entering call Friday, because the suspect matched the description of the rapist they were seeking, Officer Molloy said.

Neighbors had heard glass breaking at the Lynhill apartment complex in Linthicum, about two blocks from the county's Northern District police station.

Police used dogs to track the suspect and trap him in the apartment complex. After the arrest, officers obtained search warrants for the suspect's car and motel room and seized what Officer Molloy described as "a quantity of incriminating evidence."

Mr. Armstead was charged with two rapes of the same woman -- in January 1989 and September 1990 -- at her home on Dover Road in Glen Burnie and a rape in February 1990 in a home on Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn Park.

The victims were bound in each case, Officer Molloy said.

In an incident a week ago, a man broke into the basement of a home on Park Road, entered an upstairs bedroom, pointed a handgun at the victim and ordered that she remove her bra.

The gunman forced the husband to lie face-down on the floor and tied his hands with the garment. The man then ordered the woman to perform a sex act.

Charges in a number of break-ins in Howard County, as well as the four other rapes, are pending, Officer Molloy said.

Armstead was being held without bail in the Anne Arundel County detention center pending a District Court hearing tomorrow afternoon.

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