HOWARD COUNTY — NORTHEAST BALTIMORE
Families left homeless by three-alarm fire
As many as four families were left homeless last night by a three-alarm fire that destroyed five Northeast Baltimore rowhouses and damaged a sixth near City College, police and fire officials said.
The blaze was reported at 5:38 p.m. in the 1900 block of E. 28th St. It quickly spread as strong winds whipped the flames along the two-story brick block but was brought under control within an hour.
No one was reported injured.
Fire officials said at least one of the houses was vacant.
Police said hours after the fire that they were having difficulty locating some of the residents and that others they did interview were not cooperative. The cause of the fire remained undetermined.
Investigators said they believed the fire originated at either 1911 or 1913 E. 28th St. and spread eastward to the end of the row. When the first firefighters arrived at the scene, they said, five of the houses were already engulfed in flame. Several hundred spectators gathered to watch as the fire was battled.
Peace activist Berrigan released after night in jail
Roman Catholic peace activist Philip Berrigan was released from jail yesterday on the orders of Howard County District Court Judge James N. Vaughan, who had sentenced him to five years for contempt of court the day before.
About 25 supporters cheered the 68-year-old Mr. Berrigan, a former Josephite priest, as he arrived at the District Courthouse in Ellicott City at 4:30 p.m after spending a night at the county's Detention Center.
The judge had sentenced Mr.Berrigan after he refused to apologize for calling the judge's courtroom a "disgrace" and comparing it to Nazi Germany. Judge Vaughan signed an order yesterday directing that Mr. Berrigan be released from jail on personal recognizance.
Mr. Berrigan had been in court Thursday to support eight other peace activists on trial on trespassing charges resulting from a Dec. 5 protest at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Columbia.
Mr. Berrigan's attorney, Michael Kaminkow, appealed Judge Vaughan's contempt sentence yesterday to Howard County Circuit Court, which was asked to determine whether the activist was guilty and whether the punishment was appropriate.
Sketch released of man sought in shooting death
State police released a sketch yesterday of a man they said they want for questioning in Wednesday's shooting death of 51-year-old Charles William Therit Jr. in Carroll County.
The body of Mr. Therit, the owner of the Deep Run hardware store on Route 30 in Melrose, was behind the counter of the store. Police believe Mr. Therit, who was shot in the face with a 20-gauge shotgun, may have been killed during a robbery.
The police sketch is of a man seen in the area of the store. He was described as a white male in his late 30s to early 40s, approximately 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing about 200 pounds.
Police also said the man may have been driving a dark-colored pickup truck with a Pennsylvania license plate. Anyone with information is asked to call investigators at the Westminster barracks at 848-3111 or 876-2101.
A Baltimore grand jury indicted 18-year-old Dontay Carter on murder and kidnapping charges Thursday in the killing of a Catonsville man abducted from a downtown parking garage in February, prosecutors said.
Carter, of the 1900 block of N. Collington Ave., and another suspect, Clarence Woodward, 16, of the 2100 block of E. Hoffman St. were indicted in the slaying of Vitalis V. Pilius, 37, Feb. 11.
Prosecutors said Carter was also indicted in the kidnappings and attempted murder of two other men, who were also abducted from city parking garages, Feb. 7 and Feb. 14.
Two men believed to be accomplices in the abductions, Damien Daniels, 17, of the 200 block of Henneman St. and Dwayne Reid, 17, of the 5500 block of The Alameda were also indicted.
In all of the February incidents, it is alleged that Carter and the other men accosted the victims and robbed them of their wallets and credit cards. The cash and credit cards were later used at area stores and hotels, prosecutors said.