Woman shot, beaten at mall husband is charged in attack

January 18, 1992|By Kris Antonelli

A Pasadena woman was beaten and shot by her husband early yesterday evening in the crowded parking lot of the Marley Station Mall on Ritchie Highway in suburban Anne Arundel County, according to county police.

Arthur Donald Copeland of the 1200 block of Rock Hill Road in Pasadena was charged last night with assault with intent to murder. He was being held at the Northern District station in Glen Burnie, said police spokesman Officer V. Richard Molloy.

His wife, Mary Maxine Copeland, went to the shopping mall on her 59th birthday and was walking to her car in the lot near the entrance of Hecht's department store shortly before 6 p.m. when her husband approached her and said, "I have a birthday present for you," police said.

Mr. Copeland allegedly began pistol-whipping her face and then shot her in the side. The bullet passed through her body and shattered the car's window on the driver's side, Officer Molloy said.

The woman tried to run from her assailant and collapsed about 200 feet away near another parked car. According to police and witnesses, Mr. Copeland drove off in a small blue pickup truck.

Mrs. Copeland was flown by MedEvac helicopter to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where she was listed in critical condition. She was able to identify her attacker before being transported to the hospital, Officer Molloy said.

About an hour after the shooting, county police staked out the Rock Hill Road address. Mr. Copeland was arrested there.

In the mall parking lot, the area around Mrs. Copeland's blue Oldsmobile Calais was cordoned off by police with yellow crime-scene tape. Shattered glass and bloodstains covered the pavement and the interior of the car. A white towel on the ground where Mrs. Copeland collapsed was covered with blood.

Shoppers expressed shock. "It's scary," said Jennifer Mills, 15, of Gambrills, who was shopping at the mall with two friends. "We come up here all the time but we've never seen anything like this."

Paul and Marie Dunlap of Severna Park said they were inside a restaurant near the entrance to the mall when their waiter told them a woman had been shot in the parking lot. "The parking lot just filled up with police," Mr. Dunlap said. "This is the first time I've heard of a problem like this up here. I can't believe someone would do that."

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