Man pleads guilty to assault in Pasadena shootout Attempted murder charge is dropped

March 24, 1993|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

Roger Bacon ended a visit to his former girlfriend in Pasadena in November in a shootout with a county police officer that sent bullets crashing into a nearby house, narrowly missing a sleeping baby.

Yesterday, Bacon, who also swallowed his former girlfriend's medicine, took her shotgun and threatened to kill her, pleaded guilty to assault in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court.

Warren W. Davis, an assistant state's attorney, said he agreed to drop a charge of attempted murder because eyewitnesses were unclear whether Bacon, 31, of the 7100 block of Munford Road in Baltimore fired at police.

L Mr. Davis also agreed to recommend a sentence of five years.

Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. set sentencing for May 10.

The incident, reconstructed through court documents, began about 11 p.m. Nov. 19 at the home of Janice Danielson in the 100 block of Suttonwick Road.

She and Bacon had broken up, but Bacon was angry over her relationship with one of his friends.

When Bacon swallowed some of Ms. Danielson's prescription drugs and began threatening her, she screamed for help. Her new boyfriend, Arthur Hand, who was in the next room, grabbed her and dragged her out of the house.

Bacon fired once into the floor, awakening Arthur Baldwin, a roommate who saw the pellet holes, smelled the gunpowder and hid in his room, Mr. Davis said.

Police found Bacon standing in the front yard with the shotgun. When Officer Richard Lesniewski told him to drop it, he turned and pointed the gun at the officer.

Officer Lesniewski would have testified that he saw a flash from the muzzle of the shotgun and that he returned fire, Mr. Davis said.

Keith Gross, Bacon's lawyer, said yesterday that his client denies ever firing at the officer, or even pointing the weapon at him. He also denied ever threatening to kill himself or Ms. Danielson, Mr. Gross said.

Mr. Davis said that Bacon ran across the front yard and that he fired a second time at the officer, who fired back eight times, striking a house behind Bacon seven times.

The owner of that house, Michael Jankiewicz, said yesterday that two of those shots missed him and his daughter by about 2 feet and two others missed his 15-month-old son, who was sleeping in his room, by about 2 feet.

Bullets from the officer's 9 mm handgun tore a hole in the storm door, shattered a wrought iron patio chair and put holes in the cedar siding on the house, he said.

Bacon was arrested without incident about two blocks away, Mr. Davis said.

He was taken to the emergency room at North Arundel Hospital because he kept falling asleep. He admitted that he had taken some of Ms. Danielson's prescription medications.

Mr. Jankiewicz complained yesterday that no one from the Police Department came to his house after the incident to check on his safety, collect the bullets as evidence or apologize for the $700 in damage.

"We could've been lying there dead for all they knew," he said.

He said he complained in a letter to county and police officials, but no one has offered to help. He said the county's risk management office, which handles reimbursement for damages by county personnel, has told him that it does not pay for such claims.

"I know I'm lucky to be alive, but I'm very disappointed in the way the police handled the situation," he said.

Terry Robey, a Police Department spokeswoman, said that the officer was trying to stop an armed suspect and did the best he could in an "obviously dangerous situation."

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