Heavily armed Essex man barricaded in Eastern Blvd. house


no one hurt

September 18, 1992|By Roger Twigg and Joe Nawrozki

A 27-year-old Essex man, dressed in military garb, a flak vest and armed with several weapons, held Baltimore County police at bay for more than three hours today before surrendering peacefully.

Following the tense standoff, police aided by a dog found two semi-automatic weapons and three dummy grenades in the man's house.

No one was injured, although the gunman fired one shot into the floor of the house during the standoff.

Sgt. Stephen R. Doarnberger, a police spokesman, said charges were pending against Frederick Geelhaar, who holed up in his mother's house in the 100 block of Eastern Blvd. from 3 a.m. until about 6:40 a.m.

Mr. Geelhaar, who had threatened to kill himself, was taken to a hospital for a medical evaluation, Sergeant Doarnberger said. Charges are pending, police said.

The sergeant said the incident began when a man -- armed with a loaded Tech 9 machine pistol and dressed in khaki military garb and a flak vest that can be purchased in military surplus stores -- ordered his mother and a half-sister from the house.

The mother was identified as Regina L. Edwards, 45, and the half-sister as Bambi Lynn Edwards, 15. They were not injured.

The mother told police that Mr. Geelhaar had been drinking for several hours before and that he had mentioned suicide.

Police surrounded the house and advised area residents to remain indoors.

Traffic along Eastern Boulevard was blocked for seven blocks, from the Back River Neck Bridge east to Mace Ave.

A police negotiator was brought in and, over the telephone, encouraged the gunman to surrender. During the negotiations, a special police tactical unit surrounded the house.

The talks were successful, and the man emerged from the house about 6:40 a.m., Sergeant Doarnberger said.

After the man was taken into custody, members of the police bomb squad combed the house and recovered two firearms and three dummy hand grenades, police said.

The weapons were a .380-semiautomatic handgun, which was not loaded, and the loaded Tech 9 machine pistol.

The section of Eastern Boulevard that had been closed was reopened by 8:30 a.m.

Police knew little about the gunman except that he had been in the military but was discharged because of medical reasons.

Several neighbors said the man and his family had not resided in the area very long.

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