4 troopers disciplined in Dontay Carter case

May 20, 1992|By Roger Twigg | Roger Twigg,Staff Writer

Four state troopers have been disciplined mildly for failing to "go a step further" to arrest Dontay Carter, 18, who allegedly identified himself twice by showing the doctored driver's license of a 37-year-old Catonsville man he is accused of killing.

One of the troopers, who was given a two-day suspension without pay for neglect of duty, has requested an administrative hearing, state Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services Bishop L. Robinson said yesterday.

Mr. Robinson said another trooper was ordered to undergo guidance and counseling; another to undergo remedial training. A fourth trooper received an official reprimand, he said.

Mr. Robinson said that because one of the cases is going to an administrative hearing, he cannot reveal which trooper received

what punishment because of the Policeman's Bill of Rights.

The troopers involved in the two incidents are Sgt. James H. Mollman and Tfc Joseph O. Miller, both of the Baltimore-Washington International Airport detachment, and Sgt. Lloyd Russell and Trooper Holly L. Fuller, both of the Golden Ring barracks.

The administrative investigation by Capt. Jack Howard, head of the state police Internal Affairs Unit, sought to explain how Carter, of Baltimore, twice eluded arrest.

Carter has been charged in the Feb. 11 abduction and slaying of Vitalis V. Pilius, 37, and the abductions of two other men between Feb. 7 and Feb. 14. He was recently transferred from the Baltimore City Detention Center where he was awaiting trial to the state Supermax prison.

His transfer came after he was identified as an alleged ringleader of a May 8 disturbance in the segregation unit at the detention center in which fires were set and correctional officers attacked, state officials said.

Mr. Robinson said that while the four troopers found guilty of neglect of duty might have failed to "go a step further" in checking out Carter, they were merely exercising their "own discretion."

When Carter attempted to rent a car at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, he had already obtained from the state Motor Vehicle Administration a "bona fide" driver's license in Mr. Pilius' name, Mr. Robinson said.

Carter obtained the duplicate driver's license from the MVA Mondawmin office with the aid of a female employee. The license contained his picture but had Mr. Pilius' name and physical description. Mr. Carter is black and Mr. Pilius was white.

Mr. Robinson said when Carter was questioned at the airport, he intimidated two of the troopers by demanding that they either arrest him or let him go. "Should they have made an arrest? Did they have sufficient probable cause? Or was it discretionary?" the secretary said.

And when two troopers stopped Carter the following day for speeding on Reisterstown Road in Baltimore County, he was released with a warning despite the fact that they again noticed the difference in physical description and age on the driver's license. Mr. Pilius had been reported missing by that time but the information had not yet been placed on the federal crime information computers, Mr. Robinson said.

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