Hit-run driver, truck huntedPolice today were continuing...

MARYLAND NEWSWATCH

May 26, 1992

MARYLAND STATE: — Hit-run driver, truck hunted

Police today were continuing their search for a pickup truck whose driver failed to stop after the vehicle struck a south Baltimore boy who was crossing a street in Curtis Bay over the weekend.

Craig Kramp, 8, of the 3900 block of Fairhaven Ave., was in critical condition today at the pediatric intensive care unit at the University of Maryland Medical Center with head and internal injuries, police said.

Craig, a third-grader at Curtis Bay Elementary School, got off an MTA bus about 3 p.m. Saturday at the corner of Curtis Avenue and Elmtree Street in the city to go to his aunt's house, police said. Craig's mother, Lisa Ruppert, 32, who was on her way home, stayed on the bus.

Witnesses told police that Craig failed to wait until traffic had passed before crossing the street. Craig ran in front of the stopped bus then paused in the street when a southbound white pickup truck neared him, police said.

Police said the driver of the pickup truck swerved to avoid hitting Craig but was unable to do so.

After striking Craig, the driver slowed to a stop at least twice, but then sped off, heading south on Curtis Avenue, police said.

Police described the white pickup as a Toyota or an S-10 Chevrolet with a gray primer spot near the left rear tail light. It should have damage to the front end and windshield.

Anyone with information about the vehicle should call the traffic investigation section at 396-2609.

A bicyclist and a motorcyclist were charged with drunken driving yesterday after the motorcycle struck the rear of the bike as both headed west across the U.S. 50 bridge out of Ocean City, according to the state police.

Cpl. L.K. Guyton said the accident occurred just after 2 a.m. as the bicyclist, Jay Mathew Wate, 22, of the first block of Deep Channel Drive, West Ocean City, was pedaling westbound across the major artery in the slow lane without any lights.

The motorcyclist, James Whittman, 38, of the 2200 block of Phillips Mill Road, Forest Hill, was traveling in the same direction when his vehicle struck the rear of the bike, Corporal Guyton said.

The two men were treated at Peninsula General Hospital in Salisbury and released, a hospital spokeswoman said. A passenger on the motorcycle, Ronni Mackert, 35, of Showell declined treatment, police said.

Corporal Guyton said the motorcyclist was charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and driving while intoxicated. The bicyclist was charged with driving while intoxicated and failing to have required lights on his bike after dark.

Baltimore County:

Baltimore County police said yesterday that they have no motive or suspect in Sunday's arson at an Essex apartment complex that killed a woman and her 8-year-old daughter and critically injured her husband.

Seven other people, including two volunteer firefighters, were also injured. They were treated at Franklin Square Hospital Center and released.

Cpl. Jerry Fitch, a police spokesman, said that the three-alarm fire at the Kings Mill apartments in the 1400 block of Hadwick Drive was still under investigation.

Investigators said the fire began in the hallway of the brick-faced colonial-style building. Eight apartments were damaged.

Mary Lee Gericke, 30, died while trying to save her 8-year-old daughter, Victoria, who also perished. The woman's husband, Alex O. Gericke, who police said is in his late 20s, was in critical condition last night at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, a hospital spokesman said.

Police said Sunday that Mr. Gericke suffered burns over 20 percent of his body.

Baltimore County:

A Texas woman who was visiting an elderly couple last week when they were attacked in their home by a knife-wielding intruder died yesterday at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, authorities said.

Clara Vickers, 82, of Booker, Texas, was visiting James Attwell, 72, and his wife, Margaret, 70, when all three were attacked May 18 at the residence on West Liberty Road.

Mrs. Attwell was dead at the scene. Her husband was discharged Wednesday after treatment for stab wounds at the trauma center.

A suspect, Charles Henry Emanuel, 30, of Aberdeen, an employee of Harford Community College, remained at the Baltimore County Detention Center last night, held without bail on murder charges.

Carroll County:

Inconsistent testimony from the 17-year-old witness led to the acquittal of North Carroll Middle Principal Richard DeLong on assault and battery charges last week.

The witness said he could not remember details of the fight with his father last November that earned him five stitches and battery charges he has already pleaded guilty to in juvenile court.

Mr. DeLong's son, who testimony showed is undergoing drug abuse counseling, said he was intoxicated and under the influence of drugs the day of the fight.

The two have begun to improve their relationship since the fight.

"This case comes down to [the son] and how strong his story is," said District Judge JoAnne Ellinghaus-Jones as she found DeLong not guilty. "I believe that he doesn't remember for sure what happened that day, and when the fight did break out, he had an opportunity to get revenge on his father by telling this story, and he took that opportunity."

Mr. DeLong has been principal of the 890-student North Carroll Middle School since July 1988.

Howard County:

Four fires were set at the Howard County Detention Center late Sunday night and early yesterday, the state fire marshal's office said.

One of the fires forced the temporary evacuation of about 200 inmates about 12:30 a.m., said Deputy Chief Fire Marshal Bob Thomas. He said the incidents are being investigated.

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