Man pleads guilty to assault at takeout

September 02, 1992|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

Thirty-year-old Keith Howard got more than medical treatment at the Anne Arundel Medical Center emergency room last winter -- he also ran into the woman he'd just attacked. She was being treated in the same room.

Appearing before Judge Raymond G. Thieme yesterday, Howard, of the 1600 block of Sunshine Court, admitted to attacking the woman as she waited in a line of cars at the take-out window of a Glen Burnie fast-food restaurant. He pleaded guilty to assault with intent to rob.

Police said the incident began about 8 p.m. Feb. 23, when Howard approached a car driven by Buffy Kramer, 19, in the take-out line at the Taco Bell on Ritchie Highway.

Ms. Kramer was third in line to pick up food at the shop's take-out window when Mr. Howard approached her car, stuck his head in her window, demanded money and began punching her, hitting her in the face and upper body.

Howard fled when she screamed for help, running to the the parking lot of the nearby JBA Chevrolet dealership. A security guard at the dealership chased him to a chain-link fence topped with razor wire, where Howard cut his hands while climbing over. He then ran through the parking lot of the Cross Roads Tavern, where he was spotted by a waitress who called police.

Police learned Howard's name from other patrons. A check in the police computer revealed that Howard had outstanding warrants on breaking and entering and other charges, Assistant State's Attorney Cynthia Ferris said.

Officer Jeff Price arrested Howard at his Glen Burnie home, about 1.5 miles from the robbery attempt, she said.

The officer took him to Anne Arundel General Hospital for treatment of the cuts on his hands, Ms. Ferris said.

Ms. Kramer, who was also at the hospital for minor injuries suffered in the attack, saw Howard and got so frightened that she fled from the emergency room.

Howard faces up to 10 years in prison on the charge.

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