City police officer injured in crashA city police officer...

MARYLAND NEWSWATCH

June 15, 1992

MARYLAND STATE: — City police officer injured in crash

A city police officer was injured yesterday when the patrol car she was driving crashed into another vehicle at a downtown intersection, police said.

Police said Officer Bonnie Banks, 28, of the Central District, and her partner were responding to a call and were westbound in the 200 block of E. Saratoga St. about 5:20 p.m. with the patrol car's emergency lights and siren on.

Police said Officer Banks failed to come to a full stop as required at a red traffic light at Calvert Street and the 1987 Chevrolet Caprice patrol car collided with a 1979 BMW that was northbound on Calvert.

The collision damaged both cars and injured Officer Banks.

Officer Banks was being treated at Mercy Medical Center for possible injuries to her head, left side and lower back.

The driver of the BMW, David Cole, 25, of the 200 block of Lambeth Road, and Officer Banks' partner, Officer John Washburn, were not injured, police said.

Police said Officer Banks, a member of the force for nearly four years, has been charged with unsafe driving.

Two young men are in police custody, charged with setting a firthat burned a vacant ice cream factory on Sisson Street.

The suspects, George Edward Tomasack, 19, and Robert Frederick Mason, 20, both of the 200 block of E. North Ave., were charged with arson and storehouse breaking and were being held on $10,000 bail each at the Central District lockup pending a bail review hearing today.

Police Lt. James Henderson said officers and firefighters responding to the alarm shortly after noon Saturday found two doors kicked in at the brick building, which takes up about half the 2600 block of Sisson.

Witnesses had seen two men run away from the area toward Falls Road, and officers later saw two men running near a wooded area.

The men were arrested after the police noticed carbon on their hands and the odor of smoke on their clothing, Lieutenant Henderson said.

The building is owned by High's of Baltimore.

Lieutenant Henderson said the fire is believed to have been an attempt to cover up a break-in at the building, which contained little more than a few crates.

"They had no idea, probably, what was inside there," the lieutenant said.

A 31-year-old woman has been charged with first-degree murdein the stabbing death of her boyfriend, Samuel Grier, 36, after an argument at his Walbrook home Saturday afternoon.

Vera Banton, of the 400 block of S. Gilmor St., was arrested at her home about 11:55 p.m. Saturday and is being held pending a bail review hearing today. She also has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

Police arrived at Mr. Grier's home in the 2100 block of Dukeland St. about 2:15 p.m. Saturday. He had a single stab wound to the left side of his chest. Ms. Banton was not there, said Sgt. Roger Nolan of the city police homicide unit.

Mr. Grier was pronounced dead shortly before 3 p.m. at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, Sergeant Nolan said.

A tanker rig overturned on Interstate 70 at Hancock yesterday, killing the driver and spilling its load of 6,000 gallons of milk across the highway.

Police said the driver, John Fisher, 59, of New Enterprise, Pa., was eastbound on I-70 near U.S. 522 shortly past noon when his rig veered across the grass median and overturned in the westbound lanes.

Trooper John T. Sexton said he had "no reason or idea whatsoever" as to the cause of the accident. No other vehicle was involved, he said.

Baltimore County:

Workers at Baltimore Hebrew Cemetery in the 6300 block of Hamilton Ave. in Rosedale were beginning today to put back about 80 headstones that vandals overturned between Friday night and Saturday morning.

Police have no witnesses or suspects, says Officer Robert Cross of the White Marsh police station.

"It's senseless. There's no reason for it," Officer Cross says. "There was no sign of graffiti, no empty beer cans."

He says stones were not damaged, except that they were overturned and will have to be remounted on their bases.

The cemetery's caretaker, Paul Karp, discovered the vandalism when he came to work at 8 a.m. Saturday.

L "It makes you sick," Mr. Karp says. "It makes anybody sick."

Carroll County:

Voters in Union Bridge will decide whether to annex a 110-acre property, which, when developed, could double the size of the town of 917 residents.

Town officials for several years have been grappling with the issue of annexing the Phillips property and extending town services there. Developers plan to build about 500 homes on the site along Md. 75 and Bark Hill Road.

After several public hearings, during which many residents voiced opposition to the development, the town council voted unanimously for annexation on April 27.

Of the 455 registered voters, 115 disagreed with the council's action and successfully petitioned the issue to an Aug. 3 referendum.

Harford County:

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