County school officials Friday were still investigating what caused a suspicious odor in a Brooklyn Park school that closed the building for a day and sent 13 students and five adults to the hospital.
Ralph Luther, director of maintenance and operations for the school system, said authorities believe a student sprayed mace in a bathroom ofBrooklyn Park/Lindale Junior High School. The county has hired a private company to test the air quality.
"Unless we find something we should be concerned about, we believe there will be no risk in reoccupying the school on Monday," Luther said.
The trouble began Thursday at 11:30 a.m., when two students and two teachers were hospitalized complaining about eye irritation, prickly skin and roughness in the throat.
The county fire department's hazardous materials unit responded to the school on Hammonds Lane and found no odor. Firefighters did find, however, a white powdery substance on the bathroom walls.
Luther said firefighters opened all the nearby windows and left, saying there was sufficient circulation to air out the building.
But two hours later, 14 other people -- 11 children and 3 adults -- fell ill. All were taken to Harbor Hospital Center, where they were treated and released.
The fire department responded again and ordered the school closed. The 1,288 students were sent home at the normal 3 p.m. closing time, but all after-school activities in the building were canceled.
Luther said the building was closed Friday so testing could be conducted.
POLICE FIND 15 LBS. OF MARIJUANA IN LOCKER
Police investigating a 44-year-old Florida man arrested Wednesday in Glen Burnie on drug charges said they found 15 pounds of marijuana hidden in a rented storage locker.
Edwin Frederick Gates Jr., of Ozonz, Fla., was arrested in the parking lot of the Burwood Shopping Center. Police said the man was in the middle of a drug transaction when police arrived.
After the man's arrest, police seized two pounds of marijuana from his 1985 Chevrolet pickup truck.
Police said a subsequent investigation revealed Gateswas from Florida, had only been in Maryland for a week and had been staying in numerous hotels in the Baltimore area, using alias names.
Members of the Northern District Tactical Narcotics Team and officers from Baltimore County met at a Catonsville hotel and seized both documents and about $1,400.
Detectives then searched the storage area the man had rented. Police said they seized documents and 15 pounds of marijuana. The marijuana was inside the storage locker, concealed in an auxiliary truck gas tank that had been modified to provide ahiding place.
Police said that is a common way for drug dealers to transport large amounts of drugs from state to state. The 17 poundsof marijuana seized has a street value of more than $50,000.
Gates was charged with two counts of possession with intent to distributemarijuana, two counts of possession of marijuana and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. He is being held in the County Detention Center in lieu of $150,000 bond.
Police said their investigation is continuing.
HOUSE ALARM STAVES OFF WOMAN'S ASSAILANT
A 63-year-old woman was able to fend off a burglar Thursday night by escaping into her Annapolis home and turning on the alarm.
Police said the woman arrived at her home on Overlook Road at about 9 p.m. and wasconfronted by a young male, about 17 or 18 years old.
The man wasarmed with a handgun and ordered the woman to unlock the front door and turn off the alarm. But the woman was able to escape into the house, lock the door and turn the alarm on.
The man ran away, but didmanage to steal the woman's purse. Police said there was evidence the man tried to break into the house earlier in the evening. They havea possible suspect in the case. No description was given.
THREE MEN ARRESTED ON COCAINE CHARGES
Three men, two from Brooklyn Park and one from Baltimore, were arrested on drug charges Thursday night after county police raided a home and found cocaine.
Members of the narcotics section and Special Operations Squad went to the Brooklyn Park home in the 200 block Old Riverside Road at 11:15 p.m. They said they found 1 ounce of cocaine, two handguns and $2,000. Police also seized a 1990 Ford Bronco Truck.
Charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute were David Daniel McGuire, 26 and Thomas Michael McGuire, 29, both of the Brooklyn Park address. Also charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute was David Wayne Snead, 28, of the 1300 block Glydon Avenue, in Baltimore.
MAN FALLS OFF LEDGE, LANDS NEAR RT. 100
A 44-year-old man was listed in criticalcondition Friday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center after rolling off aledge underneath a Route 100 overpass.
Police found the man Wednesday morning after receiving a call about a person lying on a hill near a small tree. The police report said the man, William Jordan, smelled of alcohol.
The man, William Jordan, was taken to North Arundel Hospital when paramedics noticed a cut on the back of his head. He later was flown to Shock Trauma, where he was admitted for his head injury.
The police report said the man apparently was sleeping on the ledge under the overpass near Crain Highway and Oak Manor Drive.
The following break-ins have been reported to county police:
1700 block Reynolds Street: Thursday, Oct. 24; entry gained through front door. Items taken: unknown.
6400 block Cedar Furnace Circle: Monday, Oct. 14; entry gained through kitchen window. Items taken: unknown.