West Columbia

October 30, 1992|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff Writer

Man enters plea agreement in racial incident

A black Columbia man entered a plea agreement yesterday for a racial harassment incident involving a group of four white men on Independence Day.

Stanley Bruce Roberts, 21, of the 900 block of River Ark Road was given probation before judgment, meaning his guilty plea for battery will be stricken if he abides by the terms set by Howard District Court Judge Louis A. Becker.

He was the only person charged in the incident, which occurred in a parking lot in the 10200 block of Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia about 10:25 p.m. July 4.

Mr. Roberts told the judge that the group of men started making "African sounds" as he and his friends walked by them in the parking lot.

The defendant said he and his friends confronted the group, and a fight started. Police were called to the scene to break up the fight.

A police report said Mr. Roberts and his friends threatened to harm the other group's "white women and daughters."

Police said Mr. Roberts, the most agitated among the group, was instructed to calm down and walk to the other side of the parking lot.

As Mr. Roberts walked away, he shouted and pushed one of the men, police said. The officers then arrested him.

"I'd like to apologize for being here," Mr. Roberts told the judge yesterday. "I should have controlled myself, but I didn't."

Mr. Roberts pleaded guilty to battery. Charges of racial harassment and four counts of assault were placed on the court's inactive docket. Those charges will disappear from Mr. Roberts' record in one year if he breaks no other laws.

Judge Becker ordered Mr. Roberts to complete one year of probation, counseling and 40 hours of community service. The defendant also must pay $125 in court costs.

The judge yesterday warned those involved in the incident that the confrontation could have led to serious injuries. He advised the group to talk about the matter, rather than taking out their frustrations with their fists.

"Sometimes it's good to air it out," the judge said.

POLICE LOG

* Wilde Lake: 600 block of Cedar Lane: Someone stole 500 U.S. postal stamps valued at $145 from a locked desk drawer belonging to the principal's secretary at Swansfield Elementary School between Oct. 21 and Oct. 26.

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