Donald A. Maggio was the catch of the day.
Maggio, of the 1600 block of Four Georges Court in Dundalk, came to Towson's American Legion Hall expecting to get two free tickets to the Orioles' opening day game next spring. Instead, he wound up in handcuffs and behind bars. The Baltimore County sheriff says he owes $10,424.62 in back child support, accumulated at the rate of $50 a week.
In all, eight men who owe more than $1,000 were rounded up, and 29 other child-support cases were cleared by the sheriff's office as a result of yesterday sting operation, dubbed "Grand Slammers."
The 29 other cases were found to involve men who are either dead or already in jail.
The eight actually arrested yesterday represent just one percent of the total who are in arrears on court-ordered child support in the county.
Sheriff Norman Pepersack said the baseball sting was a new tactic in efforts to find these often hard-to-find fellows. Pepersack said he hopes the word goes out that his men are looking, and if those on the list don't want an unpleasant surprise at work or at home, they should report in and pay up.
The sheriff's office sent out 360 letters to the most recent addresses of men on the list. The letters invited them to the legion hall yesterday to claim two free opening day tickets at Oriole Park, plus a chance to win two 1992 season tickets. Those unable to appear were asked to mail back an enclosed postcard with their current addresses.
Two of those who mailed cards back were picked up by six deputies who made 6 a.m. visits to their homes, and one the lawmen missed surrendered voluntarily by noon.
Of course, there's always one who doesn't get it.
Sgt. Michael Corrigan said that even after four uniformed deputies slapped handcuffs on him, one of the men arrested asked if he would still get the free baseball tickets.
Another man came impersonating his brother, who was the actual debtor. It took him some tall explaining to avoid being incarcerated, Sgt. Corrigan said, and he promised to have "a long talk" with his brother when he got home.
Those arrested yesterday were ordered held on bail equal to their debts, and Pepersack said he would put them on work release to get their debts to their children paid. One man was released after paying up.
Other than Maggio, those arrested yesterday and the amounts they owed were:
L * Walter Naill, of the 2300 block of E. Madison St., $3,321.
* James Gordon Murray, 4400 block of Cook Ave., Gardenville, $3,605.
* Charles Maybin, of the 3900 block of N. Rolling Road, Randallstown, $5,250.
* David M. Fistek, of the 7600 block of Chesapeake Drive, Edgemere, $3,521.
* William Gardner Sr., of the 300 block of Hendrickson Lane, Towson, $8,800.
* Frederick Lundsford, of the 1700 block of Charlotte Ave., Dundalk, $2,553.94
* Curtis Allen Jr., of the first block of Sorgen Court, Middle River, $1,041. Allen was released late yesterday after he paid the full amount.