MARYLAND STATE: — Officer demoted, reassigned
A city police sergeant has been demoted and reassigned to another district for grabbing a female police officer under his supervision and making sexual remarks to her, according to a city Police Department spokesman.
Sgt. Randy W. Blades Sr. has been demoted to police officer and transferred from the Western District to the Northeastern District, said police spokesman Sam Ringgold.
Mr. Ringgold said the incident occurred Nov. 8 while Sergeant Blades was serving as a supervisor in the Western District.
Sergeant Blades, 36, was accused of grabbing a female police officer, 23, as she was walking by his desk and pulling her into his lap while making some sexual remarks, the spokesman said.
The female officer then filed a complaint with the department.
On April 21, a departmental trial board found Sergeant Blades guilty of conduct unbecoming a police officer and recommended to Police Commissioner Edward V. Woods that he be demoted in rank and transferred to another district. Commissioner Woods concurred and yesterday announced his decision.
Herbert R. Weiner, an attorney for Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3, represented the sergeant during the administrative hearing and said he intends to appeal the decision to the Baltimore Circuit Court.
Hold those calls, but keep the cards and letters coming!
The Maryland comptroller's office says it has been inundated with telephone calls since last Friday, when people who are on Maryland's unclaimed property list began receiving a mailing sent on the state's behalf by the Internal Revenue Service.
The state asked the IRS to help find 25,000 people who are on the Maryland list, but for whom the state does not have a proper address.
Those on the list usually have bank accounts, unclaimed wages or the contents of a safe deposit box listed in their names. Although the amount of money involved is occasionally substantial, amounts usually range from $50 to $250, said Marvin Bond, a spokesman for Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein.
The problem is that the IRS was not expected to begin mailing until after May 1, which is when a series of new tax increases in Maryland go into effect. The comptroller's office was already besieged with calls about the new taxes.
Anne Arundel County:
Franklin I. Freeman, the Baltimore attorney accused of biting off the tip of a limousine driver's finger during a fight Aug. 25 outside Baltimore-Washington International Airport, has been found guilty of assault and battery.
But Mr. Freeman was found not guilty yesterday in Anne Arundel Circuit Court of the more serious charge of assault with intent to maim when a judge ruled prosecutors failed to prove the lawyer intended to bite off the end of limousine driver Stephen B. "Doctor Wheels" Walker's left pinky during the altercation.
Mr. Freeman, 57, had flown to BWI from Norfolk, Va., on Aug. 25. He said he was looking for a $5 shuttle bus to take him to downtown Baltimore when he was "accosted" by a limo driver trying to "hustle" him for a more expensive ride.
He said when he objected, Mr. Walker, 47, of Laurel, uttered profanity that so shocked Mr. Freeman that it caused him to unintentionally spit out a mouthful of peanuts on Mr. Walker's cheek. A scuffle ensued in which Mr. Walker allegedly rained several punches on the lawyer.
Mr. Freeman denied intentionally biting off the end of Mr. Walker's pinky.
After hearing the evidence, Judge Lawrence H. Rushworth said, "The court finds if difficult to believe in any fashion Mr. Freeman was not the aggressor." He set sentencing for June 11, exactly one month after Mr. Walker is scheduled to be tried on an assault complaint filed by Mr. Freeman.
Prosecutor Patrick J. Bell said he does not expect Mr. Freeman to receive any jail time.
A civil suit in which Mr. Freeman is demanding exactly two cents in punitive damages from Mr. Walker is pending.
A prominent Westminster attorney feels he is being blackballed by members of the county's drug task force.
Those accused of drug crimes here often can cut deals with the task force in exchange for information and cooperation -- unless they are represented by Stephen P. Bourexis.
According to court testimony from two of the five Carroll County Narcotics Task Force officers, there is "an informal policy" of no deals with Mr. Bourexis' clients.
Mr. Bourexis said the policy is disturbing both to his livelihood and to the rights of his clients. "My right to work is obviously an important issue to me," he said. "But a person should be able to choose his own attorney without pressure from the prosecution."
Assistant State's Attorney Barton F. Walker III, head of the task force, said no such policy exists. However, he admitted that the group does not like dealing with Mr. Bourexis.
"There is no way I would authorize or condone such a policy," said Mr. Walker. "We have had frequent misunderstandings and miscommunications when it comes to Mr. Bourexis. There is a sense of frustration on the part of the task force officers."
Police detectives are asking for tips to help an investigation into the murder of a Bel Air man whose body was found last week in a wooded area near Atlantic City, N.J.
Peter J. Kim, 64, was apparently strangled, according to an autopsy by the Atlantic County Medical Examiner's Office. His body was found on April 22.
Mr. Kim, who police said has been known to make regular trips to Atlantic City, lived in the 1100 block of Vanguard Way. He was reported missing to the Harford County sheriff's office on April 16.
Anyone with information about Mr. Kim is asked to call the sheriff's office at 838-6600 or the New Jersey State Police at 609-625-1105.
All information will be kept confidential, police said.