Friends rescue Howard woman She was attacked at Guilford home HOWARD COUNTY

September 02, 1993|By Ed Heard | Ed Heard,Staff Writer

Neighbors came to the rescue of a Howard County woman, subduing a man who forced his way into her Guilford home and sexually assaulted her Tuesday afternoon, police say.

Thurman A. Moore, 47, of the 9400 block of Guilford Road faces charges of assault with intent to rape, a first-degree sex offense, assault, and breaking and entering.

Howard County prosecutors say Moore, a recently released convict, has a history of sexual assaults dating back more than 30 years. He is being held in the Howard County Detention Center without bond.

William Burley, 60, who owns Burley's Bar-B-Q stand near the 30-year-old woman's home, said yesterday afternoon that he was still shaken by the attack.

"He could have killed her," Mr. Burley said. "He could have killed me."

Mr. Burley said he had seen the suspect near his barbecue pit, begging rides from female drivers at Guilford Elementary School minutes before the attack.

After spotting him, Mr. Burley warned a school crossing guard and another woman to avoid the man. "I told them that 'this boy is up to something,' " he said.

Mr. Burley said the suspect sat under a tree watching the woman as she returned home from walking her son to kindergarten. He and the school crossing guard could see the man approach the woman's house, where police say he asked to use the phone before forcing his way inside and threatening to kill the woman's infant.

As Mr. Burley and the crossing guard ran to the home, several women from nearby town homes also went to the house. They rang the victim's doorbell and then sought help when they heard screams. Police say several calls were made to 911 at 1:17 p.m.

"I heard the screams. Everybody was so frightened," said Alka Patel, 29, who lives down the street.

Mr. Burley grabbed a 4-foot stick from a nearby resident and entered the victim's home.

"I heard [the women] say, 'Oh, my God. He's got her,' " Mr. Burley said. "I turned the door handle and said, 'Hey man, I want you to come out and put your hands in the air.' I wasn't taking my eyes off of him."

Mr. Burley said the 6-foot-4-inch, 200-pound man offered no resistance. Mr. Burley ordered him out of the home and face down on the pavement. The beef stand owner put his foot on the man's back and the stick to his neck until police arrived.

The victim, who identified Moore as her attacker when police arrived, was treated at Howard County General Hospital and released.

The suspect was "so cool about it, like nothing happened," Mrs. Patel said.

"I'm glad [Mr. Burley] was there, otherwise I don't know what would have happened," she said.

At an early morning bail review hearing yesterday, Howard County Assistant State's Attorney Cindy Johnson asked District Judge James N. Vaughan to detain Moore because of his criminal history and relapse into criminal behavior.

"He does pose a serious threat to society," Mrs. Johnson said. "He's a great danger to the citizens of Maryland. He has been out of custody for a month and a half. Upon being released he continues to do this."

Moore, who is also charged with possessing a small amount of marijuana, faces a maximum penalty of life in prison for the first-degree sexual offense.

In 1974, he received a 25-year sentence for the rape and kidnapping of a Howard County woman. He was released July 14 after serving time at the Patuxent Institution in Jessup, prosecutors said.

Court records also show that Moore was first penalized for similar offenses when he was 14.

In 1960, he was convicted of assault with intent to rape. In 1962, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison on another charge of assault with intent to rape.

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