Man shot in head by thief lies bleeding for 12 hours

January 06, 1994|By Glenn Small | Glenn Small,Staff Writer Staff Writer Ed Brandt contributed to this article.

Shot in the head and left for dead during an after-hours robbery, the night supervisor of an Owings Mills Mall restaurant lay bleeding on the floor for 12 hours until an employee found him yesterday morning.

Unable to move but still conscious, he identified the assailant, and Baltimore County Police later arrested a 16-year-old Randallstown High School student who had worked at the restaurant, the American Cafe.

John Matthew Newton, 25, was flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

Police said the robbery occurred about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday after the restaurant had closed for the night. The gunman took money from the cash register, shot Mr. Newton in the head and left him for dead. Mr. Newton, who has been married just two weeks, lay bleeding in the back of the restaurant overnight until he was found about 9:30 yesterday morning by the employee.

Another employee, who asked not to be identified, said it was not surprising that no one apparently had heard the shot because the recorded music played in the restaurant would have covered up the noise. He said Mr. Newton would normally have been the last person to leave.

He said the employee who found Mr. Newton had realized that something was wrong when he saw change scattered on the floor. He immediately called 911 and then discovered Mr. Newton in a back room.

Amazingly, Mr. Newton not only survived, but was conscious when police arrived.

"He identified the suspect for us," said Sgt. Stephen R. Doarnberger, a county police spokesman.

Yesterday afternoon, county police arrested a 16-year-old Randallstown High School student and charged him as an adult with attempted murder, robbery with a dangerous and deadly weapon and a handgun violation.

Sergeant Doarnberger said that Antonio Lamar Rice, of the 9700 block of Eustice Road, Randallstown, was arrested about 2 p.m. at Randallstown High. The 11th-grader, who had worked at the American Cafe, was being questioned by police last night, while awaiting a bail hearing before a District Court Commissioner.

Detectives were focusing on recovering the handgun used in the crime, and on recovering the stolen money, said Sergeant Doarnberger.

Well into late afternoon, police were looking for evidence at the school, where fellow students were shocked to learn that young Rice, a football player, had been arrested.

Meanwhile, Mr. Newton, of the 6600 block of Bonnie Ridge Drive, was listed in critical but stable condition last night at Shock Trauma. Police said he may have suffered some paralysis from the gunshot wound.

American Cafe workers yesterday referred questions to corporate headquarters. Timothy M. Gavigan, regional vice president for American Cafe, said that company officials were distressed to learn of the shooting, but knew little about what actually happened.

He could not say what job Antonio Rice held at the restaurant, or for how long he worked there. He said Mr. Newton was the night supervisor, but he couldn't say how long he worked for American Cafe.

"We don't have a full breakdown of the story," Mr. Gavigan said.

As for Mr. Newton, Mr. Gavigan, the company spokesman said, "We're certainly praying for him from this end."

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