Police in Pa. arrest suspect in carjackings Bank robbery, chase end with his capture

August 06, 1993|By Roger Twigg | Roger Twigg,Staff Writer Staff writer Richard Irwin contributed to this article.

A 19-year-old man sought in connection with four carjackings -- one of them fatal -- in the Baltimore area was arrested yesterday after he allegedly robbed a Pennsylvania bank and led police there on a high-speed car chase, authorities said.

Denation Lee Kent of the 2700 block of Cylburn Ave. was arrested by Pennsylvania State Police about 9:15 a.m. after a holdup at the Blue Ball National Bank, just outside Morgantown in Lancaster County, said Trooper Ronnie W. Bowers of the Ephrata barracks.

Trooper Bowers said a man walked into the bank, announced the robbery, then fired at least one shot into the ceiling. The man ordered eight employees and five customers to the floor, then emptied several cash drawers, the trooper said.

The man fled the bank and got into a car that may have been stolen and sped off with about a dozen police officers from seven different police agencies and a civilian in pursuit.

The high-speed chase, which reached speeds of 105 mph, continued 10 miles to Reading where the suspect lost control and collided with a truck, Trooper Bowers said.

The suspect jumped out of the car and was chased on foot for a short distance before he was arrested, Trooper Bowers said.

Money believed taken from the bank and a .357-caliber Magnum containing several live rounds were recovered from the suspect, the trooper said.

State police in Reading charged Mr. Kent with bank robbery, reckless endangerment and making terroristic threats. Other charges are pending, Trooper Bowers said. Mr. Kent was being held last night in the Lancaster County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

Trooper Bowers said that Pennsylvania would seek to try Mr. Kent before allowing him to be extradited to face charges in Maryland.

Mr. Kent and Kevin Lamar Coley, 18, of the 4400 of block of LaPlata Ave., who remains at large, are considered prime suspects in four carjackings in the Baltimore area, city and Baltimore County police said.

In a carjacking on Wednesday night, Frederick Montague Johnson, 61, of the 3800 block of Dolfield Ave., was slain by two men who stole his car in the 4400 block of Tamarind Road in North Baltimore, police said.

The car was found abandoned two blocks away with a flat tire. Two of its windows had been shattered by gunshots.

Mr. Coley and Mr. Kent have been charged by Baltimore County police with the attempted murder Monday night of an off-duty city police officer. Mr. Kent, Mr. Coley and a third man exchanged gunfire outside the officer's White Marsh home before they allegedly stole his 1993 Toyota 4-Runner, according to Sgt. Stephen R. Doarnberger, a county police spokesman.

More than a dozen shots were fired during the incident, county police said.

In Monday's carjacking, police arrested Logan Carter, 23, of the 2700 block of Cylburn Ave., when he sought treatment at Union Memorial Hospital for leg wound that police believe he suffered during the shootout with Officer Norbert J. Padzersky Jr., 48, of the 4600 block of Bucks School House Road.

Mr. Carter has been charged with attempted murder and armed robbery, police said.

Dominic Inman, 19, of the 4400 block of LaPlata Ave., was charged with aiding and abetting and being an accessory after the crime when he took Mr. Carter to the hospital, police said.

Police said all three suspects -- Mr. Kent, Mr. Coley and Mr. Carter -- are also believed responsible for a carjacking Sunday night in the 3000 block of W. Belvedere Ave. during which they attempted to shoot the motorist but the weapon misfired.

About 1 a.m. Monday, the suspects drove the victim's car to the 3000 block of Hilton St., where they ran into the back of a Chevrolet Blazer, police said.

When the owner of the Blazer left his vehicle, police said, he was shot in the back by one of the suspects, who then drove off in the Blazer.

Sergeant Doarnberger said the three men are also possible suspects in a July 28 carjacking at a Pikesville motel during which the victim was struck on the head with a handgun.

Mr. Kent has also been charged in a warrant with the July 3 robbery of the Eastern Savings Bank in the 1400 block of Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, the spokesman said.

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