Chimney puts pinch on suspect

December 08, 1993|By Glenn Small | Glenn Small,Staff Writer

It's not a new idea, but it's still a pretty stupid one. A would-be burglar proved that yesterday when he inserted himself in a chimney in an effort to get inside a liquor store on Belair Road at Erdman Avenue in Baltimore.

All he got was stuck.

Darryll V. Boone, 28, of Clifton Park, would later tell police he jammed himself into the chimney of Belair Road Discount Liquors about 2 a.m. yesterday. But it wasn't until 5 a.m. that someone heard him yelling for help.

"I don't know how the guy ever thought he was going to get in," commented Calvin E. Granese, 56, the owner of the liquor store. The chimney, he said, is sealed off inside and hasn't been used for years.

Firefighters responded at 5:18 a.m. and by 7 a.m. they had pulled Mr. Boone back up through the chimney using a ladder truck, a rope and a harness. But before they did that, they broke into the liquor store by smashing the front door and an office door to get at the chimney from inside. Once there, firefighters bashed a hole through the wall to create an opening.

While Mr. Boone was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital for treatment for hypothermia, a dazed and angry Mr. Granese was left behind to sort through the mess.

"I know they have to do what they have to do," Mr. Granese said of rescue personnel. "But I think it was excessive." He said he thought firefighters have watched "too much 'Rescue 911' " on television.

Mr. Granese said he lives only about 15 minutes away from his store, and he went there as soon as police called him. He easily could have opened the door for firefighters, he said, and some of the damage could have been avoided.

His attorney, Norman Polovoy, arrived and took a more conciliatory tone. "It was an emergency situation. It's always a difficult line between overreacting and doing the right thing," he said.

More than anything, Mr. Granese and others were amazed that the 5-foot, 3-inch, 140-pound Mr. Boone had managed to work his way into the narrow chimney at all.

"It's unbelievable that the guy would even have nerve enough to try," said Mr. Granese. "He ain't too swift."

Meanwhile, Mr. Boone was listed in good condition at Hopkins yesterday afternoon. But as soon as he's well enough, he will be charged with breaking and entering, police said.

"It's a shame they don't have a charge for stupidity," remarked one Northeastern District officer.

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