Crash probe may bring chargesThe Baltimore state's...


June 22, 1992

BALTIMORE CITY: — Crash probe may bring charges

The Baltimore state's attorney's office will decide on charges in an alcohol-related collision that put a tragic end to a father-and-son birthday outing.

Officer Tony Petralia, a city police traffic investigator, said the crash about 1:40 a.m. Saturday at Foster and Luzerne avenues claimed the life of William E. Petty Jr., of the 400 block of N. Robinson St., who was celebrating his 55th birthday with his son, William 3rd, by watching the Holmes-Holyfield heavyweight championship fight at a tavern.

According to Officer Petralia, the son was at the wheel when his pickup truck, heading north on Luzerne, ran a stop sign and was hit on the passenger side by a 1980 Datsun 280ZX heading west on Foster, apparently at a high speed.

The younger Petty, who lives in the 400 block of N. Curley St., and the other driver, Barbara Klingensmith, 34, of Crownsville, were released after treatment at city hospitals.

The officer said both drivers had been drinking.

A confluence of circumstances brought a record one-day crowd of 8,100 people to the Baltimore Zoo yesterday -- "the highest one-day attendance since 1876 when the zoo first opened," said spokeswoman Patrice Malloy.

The factors behind the record turnout were the lure of the special entertainment celebrating the weekend's opening of the $4.2 million African watering hole exhibit; Father's Day family outings; and the sunny, cool summer weather.

The previous record attendance, on Memorial Day last year, was 6,800, Ms. Malloy said.

Allegany County:

A tractor-trailer carrying a highly toxic and potentially explosive chemical overturned in a rural area southeast of Cumberland last night.

Although officials said none of the chemical leaked, they evacuated nearby homes.

"We're evacuating about 15 homes as a precautionary measure," said Owen Morris, Allegany County civil defense director.

The truck contained magnesium silicide, according to Maryland State Police Trooper Jason Paolucci. The chemical can ignite if exposed to air and can explode if mixed with water.

It's poisonous if inhaled, burns the skin and can give off poisonous gases if it catches fire, Trooper Paolucci said.

The accident occurred about 8:25 p.m. on Route 51.

The truck flipped onto its side, rupturing the truck's diesel fuel tanks and trapping the driver inside.

Rescuers freed the driver, who was taken by ambulance to Memorial Hospital in Cumberland. His identity and condition weren't immediately known.

Route 51 was closed around the accident scene.

A substantial amount of the truck's fuel leaked onto the roadway, said Donna Hovatter of the Allegany County sheriff's office.

Howard County:

Sixteen people at the Columbia City Fair had plenty of time to look over the 25-year-old city yesterday when a Ferris wheel got stuck in the middle of their ride.

No one was injured when a cable on the wheel snapped at 1 p.m., leaving the riders stranded at the top, said Lt. Michael Gearheart of the Howard County Fire and Rescue Department.

It took firefighters and fair workers about 45 minutes to free the stranded riders.

Firefighters raised the ladder from a truck and brought down eight riders who were in the top four cars, the lieutenant said.

"Once we did that, the fair workers hand-cranked the other cars to the ground," he said. "We had several kids at the top; they were a little antsy."

Worcester County:

A Hagerstown man has been charged with giving a 17-year-old girl a tattoo against her will.

James B. Martin, 25, was arrested in Ocean City after the girl told police Friday that he applied a tattoo of a scorpion to her shoulder when she became intoxicated at a party at the man's apartment Tuesday night.

Mr. Martin was being held on $15,000 bail on charges of maiming, assault, battery, reckless endangerment, false imprisonment and six counts of violating tattoo regulations, according to police spokesman Jay Hancock.

The girl, from Newark, Del., was visiting Ocean City with friends when Mr. Martin met her on the boardwalk and invited the group to a party in his apartment, police said.

He offered her a tattoo, but she declined. After she became intoxicated, the girl consented to what she thought was a washable tattoo, which Mr. Martin applied before she passed out, police said.

The next morning, when the victim showered, the tattoo wouldn't wash off, she told police.

* The Fourth of July is always a big weekend in Ocean City, but officials hope the presence of the Ku Klux Klan this year doesn't add any unwanted fireworks.

The Cecil County members of the Invisible Empire of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan plan to obtain licenses to hold a recruitment drive for about an hour on the boardwalk during the holiday.

The city requires everyone in the group to have a license to distribute literature on the boardwalk. At the end of last week, one license had been issued.

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