Mugging and chase lead to man's arrest Detective's car stolen, with his wife in it.

April 18, 1991|By Thomas W. Waldron and William B. Talbott | Thomas W. Waldron and William B. Talbott,Evening Sun Staff

An early-morning mugging today led to a foot chase through downtown, the attempted theft of a police detective's car, a severe bite to the detective's finger and the arrest of a 34-year-old East Baltimore man.

Multiple charges were pending today against the man, who was taken to police headquarters after a medical examination, police said.

Police gave this account of the events:

About 6:40 a.m., a man stole the purse of a woman reporting to work in the cafeteria of the state office building in the 500 block of St. Paul Place. Mark Brown, a security guard who works in the state building, chased the man south for several blocks.

Near the corner of Saratoga and Holliday streets, an off-duty police detective who was driving with his wife noticed the chase and saw a man dive under a parked car. Leaving his wife in the car and the motor running, Detective Horace F. Comegna, 47, ran over to the car where the man had hidden. The man, meanwhile, emerged from the other side of the car and managed to jump into the detective's car.

With Comegna and others chasing, the man drove off in the car, with Comegna's wife still aboard, but crashed into a building nearby.

As Comegna tried to make an arrest, the man bit Comegna's right index finger, injuring the finger severely and sending Comegna to Mercy Hospital. His wife, Barbara Comegna, went to Mercy with neck injuries. Brown, the security officer, went to Mercy with a puncture wound to his right leg.

The suspect was examined at Mercy and released, police said.

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