Shoot-out Victim Protected His Family Baltimore County

November 18, 1992|By Meredith Schlow and Glenn Small | Meredith Schlow and Glenn Small,Staff Writers

A caption yesterday misidentified Daniel Heiser, 47, a Catonsville gas station owner who was slain Monday night in a holdup, and his wife, Susan.

) The Sun regrets the errors.

When a gun-wielding suspect entered Daniel Leighton Heiser's gas station Monday night and announced a holdup, Mr. Heiser was ready to protect his family business, his nephew and himself with a loaded pistol.

The shoot-out that followed left Mr. Heiser, 47, as well as the suspect, convicted armed robber Theodore Richard Bundley Jr., fatally wounded at Heiser's Sunoco on Baltimore National Pike near Rolling Road.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

But as Mr. Heiser's sister, Virginia Rozema, made arrangements for her brother's funeral yesterday, she said she was sure her brother saved her son's life.

"I think [the suspect] would have shot them both anyway after he got the money," she said.

Just before the shooting, her son, Chad, 19, told his uncle about a man who seemed to be "casing" the business, police said. Chad dove for cover during the shoot-out.

Mr. Heiser, of the 3100 block of Sunset Lane in Phoenix, was pronounced dead at St. Agnes Hospital about an hour after the 8:30 p.m. shooting. Bundley, of the 200 block of N. Edgewood St., died at the scene.

In 1987, Bundley pleaded guilty to the armed robbery of a Hardee's restaurant and was sentenced in Baltimore County Circuit Court to 10 years in prison. He was paroled in November 1990.

Susan Kaskie, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Parole and Probation, said she did not know why the parole commission released Bundley.

In any prison sentence in Maryland, inmates have to serve a quarter of their sentence before they can have their first parole hearing. Inmates also may accumulate up to 15 days of good-time credit for each month they serve.

Ms. Kaskie did not know whether Bundley had any good-time credits applied to his sentence, or whether that affected his parole.

In February 1987, when Bundley was 17, he was charged with a string of armed robberies in Baltimore County, beginning on Nov. 8, 1986, when police said he robbed the Hardee's restaurant on Security Boulevard.

The same Hardee's was robbed on Dec. 16, 1986. A cashier who was working during both robberies later identified Bundley as being one of two robbers.

Bundley was also accused of robbing three people on different days in early 1987. Those charges were later dropped in exchange for his guilty plea. Aside from the 10-year sentence for the Baltimore County robbery, Bundley was serving a five-year sentence for a 1987 assault with attempt to murder conviction in Baltimore.

Increasing crime in the Catonsville area led Mr. Heiser to purchase the .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol he used to protect the family business.

Ms. Rozema said her brother and their mother, Florence Heiser, purchased the Catonsville gas station in December 1988, after the death of her father, John Heiser. She and her brother were unhappy with their jobs, and were anxious to open their own business, she said.

The family ran the gas station with the help of three employees, Ms. Rozema said. As crime in the area increased, Ms. Rozema said her brother, a Vietnam-era Army veteran, became concerned about protecting the business.

He bought the gun about two years ago, practiced at a shooting range and urged her to do the same, she said.

"I just never got around to it," she said.

"We were all kind of afraid just because of the area it was in, but we never expected anything like this to happen," said John Rozema, 21, Mr. Heiser's other nephew. "It was just getting worse and worse."

About a month ago, the business was robbed for the first time by two men, Ms. Rozema said.

Mr. Heiser's funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Fairview United Methodist Church in Phoenix.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.