BALTIMORE CITY — Cemetery vandals hunted
City police said they are pursuing a tip in the case of a Jewish cemetery that was vandalized over the weekend.
Sgt. Ronald Cooper of the Southeastern District said today that police have received an anonymous phone tip about a juvenile who may have been responsible for knocking over and damaging 256 headstones.
Police said investigators planned to interview the suspect this afternoon.
Police said vandals entered the Hebrew-Friendship Cemetery in the 3600 block of East Baltimore Street Saturday night or early yesterday and toppled the headstones. Those made of sandstone may be impossible to repair.
The lack of anti-Semitic signs has led police to believe the damage was the work of someone who thought that disturbing the graves in the 13-acre cemetery was a joke.
Cooper said that police have "interviewed numerous persons in the neighborhood who could have seen something from their homes, but nothing came from that."
This was the first vandalism incident at Hebrew-Friendship in three years, Cooper added.
The broken and toppled headstones were discovered yesterday morning by Terry Bush, a caretaker, as he prepared to cut the grass.
Bush quickly toured the cemetery and counted 256 headstones knocked off their bases. Some fell on the grass and were not broken, but others fell on pavements and driveways and broke into pieces.
Police said some of the headstones are more than 100 years old.
Several relatives of people buried at the cemetery arrived yesterday for prayer services at the graves and cried when they saw the destruction.
Police said anyone having information about the vandalism is urged to call the Southeastern District station at 396-2422. Information will be kept confidential, police said.
Agencies receive $1.2 million
State and local agencies in Maryland that help crime victims have been awarded $1.2 million from the federal government in what amounts to an annual split of fines and forfeiture profits collected in federal civil and criminal cases.
U.S. Attorney Richard D. Bennett, who announced the awards Friday, said the money was distributed by the Justice Department's Office for Victims of Crime.
The money was collected through special assessments levied against individual and corporate defendants in criminal cases in federal courts nationwide, through civil fines imposed by federal judges and through the forfeitures of property and other assets by drug dealers and other criminals.
Individual defendants convicted of crimes are required to pay the government a $50 special assessment for each offense. Corporate defendants must pay $100 special assessments for each offense. The assessments are imposed at sentencings.
The programs in Maryland that were awarded the funds provide services to victims of sexual assaults, spouse and child abuse, survivors of murder victims and victims of drunken-driving accidents.
Steven Hess, victim-witness coordinator in Bennett's office, said the federal government distributes up to $150 million a year from the crime victims' fund. The money is distributed to each state on a population basis.
Bail set in assault
Anne Arundel County
Bail of $200,000 has been set for a south Anne Arundel County man on charges that he severely beat his girlfriend and infant son and assaulted five other people, including a police officer, at a trailer park.
Police at the Southern District said Charles Steven Kuhfahl, 34, of the 4700 block of Flanders Lane near Patuxent River Park, was arrested at the park and remains in the county detention center pending a bail review hearing today in District Court.
Kuhfahl was charged with assault with intent to kill his wife and son, multiple charges of common assault, theft and assaulting a police officer.
Police said the man was under the influence of the drugs PCP and LSD at the time of the attacks and he was nude when
Kuhfahl was arrested early Saturday near his mobile home after his common-law wife, Jacqueline Mayhew, 40, and the couple's 7-month-old son, Steven Brandon Kuhfahl, were beaten with a blunt object, police said.
Mayhew and the baby sustained serious head and body injuries and were found unconscious in a bedroom, police said.
Police said Mayhew remains in critical condition at the Prince George's County Shock-Trauma Center. The baby was listed in serious condition today at the Children's National Medical Center in the District of Columbia. After the attack, the man broke into two other mobile trailers and attacked their occupants with his fists and the butt of a rifle he took from the wall of one of the homes, police said.
Officer John Ignatavious, one of the first of several police officers on the scene, grappled with Kuhfahl while attempting to arrest him and received a dislocated wrist. Ignatavious was treated at a hospital and relieved of duty.
Steinberg 'surprised' by call