Man arrested in burglary of councilwoman's condo Branch robbed at Belvedere home BALTIMORE CITY

September 18, 1993|By Roger Twigg | Roger Twigg,Staff Writer

A 25-year-old East Baltimore man has been charged with kicking down the door of a city councilwoman's condominium, tying her up and stealing $20, a videocassette recorder and TC portable computerized organizer, city police reported yesterday.

The burglary occurred at Councilwoman Paula Johnson Branch's condominium at the Belvedere, 1 E. Chase St., about 5:45 a.m. Thursday. The suspect was arrested shortly before midnight Thursday in the Belvedere's lobby after employees reported a suspicious man, police said.

Police identified the suspect as Kevin Barnes of the 1600 block of Latrobe St.

Sam Ringgold, a police spokesman, said the councilwoman identified a man through a photographic lineup. Mr. Ringgold said Mr. Barnes was also charged with breaking into another apartment at the Belvedere on Wednesday and stealing a television set.

In addition, detectives are investigating a number of other burglaries that have occurred recently in the Mount Vernon area, he said.

Police said the suspect has been charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of theft over $300, two counts of malicious destruction of property, assault and robbery, battery and false imprisonment.

He appeared before a District Court commissioner at Central police district yesterday and was ordered held on $5.5 million bail.

Ms. Branch was awakened Thursday morning by someone who kicked in the front door of her apartment and demanded cash and jewelry, police said.

The man assured the councilwoman that he would not rape or otherwise harm her and then tied and gagged her.

At one point, the somewhat apologetic man removed the gag and poured a drink of Southern Comfort into the councilwoman's mouth in what he described as a "peace offering," police said.

While in the apartment, the assailant lamented the difficulties of finding a job that pays well.

As a result, he said he resorted to crime, the councilwoman said.

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