Grocer seeks mercy for youths who attacked him

May 30, 1991|By S. M. Khalid

The owner of an East Baltimore corner grocery said yesterday that he had no idea why three teen-agers attempted to throw Molotov cocktails at him and his business Tuesday afternoon.

"I had no idea," said Tong Kim, 38, who has operates the store in the 1400 block of Central Avenue with his wife, Kwang Kim. "I get along with most of my customers."

The owner said that he saw the three youths walking toward his store with three 16-ounce bottles stuffed with rages at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday and confronted them. He said he was punched by one youth in the shoulder and struck on the back by a bottle thrown by another.

The bottles were filled with kerosene, police said.

He said that two small children were inside his store and might have been trapped if the Molotov cocktails had been ignited.

Police arrested Lester L. Talley, 15, of the 1400 block of Darley Avenue; Gregory M. Block, 16, of the 1600 block of Aisquith Street; and Garry L. Lambert, 17, of the 1500 block of Penrose Avenue. All were charged as adults with attempted murder.

Mr. Kim expressed concern for the youths. "I don't want them to go to jail," he said. "I've never seen them before. Maybe they just stopped by one time for soda. I don't know why they did that, but I don't want them to go to jail for a long time."

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