Two charged in two armed standoffs One persuaded to surrender, other captured after Howard chase.

May 08, 1991|By Alisa Samuels | Alisa Samuels,Evening Sun Staff

Howard County police have charged two men in connection with separate armed standoffs.

Ronald Jene Hoover, 33, of the 16300 block of Newport Road in Mount Airy, barricaded himself in his home yesterday after firing several shots in the air when his estranged wife came to the house to get her belongings, police said.

Terri Hoover, the estranged wife, had gone to the house about 12:30 a.m. yesterday, accompanied by her father and a police officer.

"When she walked out to her vehicle, he fired approximately five shots in the air from a shotgun from the house," said Sgt. Gary Gardner, a police spokesman.

The gunman then barricaded himself in the house, police said. A tactical team and negotiators were summoned and about 3:45 a.m., the gunman surrendered without incident, police said.

The couple had been separated for a couple of days, Gardner said.

Ronald Hoover was charged with two counts of assault and one count of reckless endangerment in connection with the incident, police said. He was released on $5,000 bail shortly before 8 o'clock last night from the Howard County Detention Center.

In the other incident, police said, a man described as suicidal and identified as James Balsinger, 43, of the 2000 block of Md. 97 in Glenwood, kept officers at bay for several hours Sunday night.

The standoff began about 10:30 p.m., when officers responded to the address after an anonymous tipster reported an attempted suicide.

Via telephone, police contacted the man inside the house and he told them "he'd shoot himself or any police officer trying to get near his house," Gardner said.

At 1:30 a.m., the man ran out of the house, got into a pickup truck and led police on a nine-minute chase.

At a carryout restaurant on Md. 97 and Md. 144, police surrounded the car and the man surrendered.

He was taken to Howard County General Hospital for an initial psychiatric evaluation and later transferred to Harbor Hospital Center in Baltimore.

Police charged Balsinger with speeding, reckless driving, driving while intoxicated and fleeing and eluding police.

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