Man, 95, beaten at his home in West Baltimore

February 16, 1994|By Michael James | Michael James,Sun Staff Writer

A 95-year-old man known to his West Baltimore neighbors for his sense of optimism was seriously wounded when he was clubbed over the head last night by two men who entered his rowhouse, city police said.

Ollie Hines, who has lived in the same house in the 1300 block of N. Fremont Ave. for more than 50 years and was a neighborhood crime watcher, was listed in serious condition at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Police said they knew of no motive for the attack, which occurred shortly before 6 p.m.

Detectives were trying to determine whether anything was taken from the house, where Mr. Hines lived with another man, who was not home at the time.

"We're praying he pulls through. He's a churchgoing man who would give you the shirt off his back," said Shelley Gregory, one of his neighbors. "He'd go out and sweep the street from end to end for us."

Another neighbor, Tina Bailey, said Mr. Hines had been in good health and remarkably fit for a man in his 90s.

"People would ask him, 'How'd you live to be 95?' And he would always say, 'Keep looking up,' " Ms. Bailey said. "That's the way he is. It's so sad that this would happen. You're not even safe in your own home any more."

Detective Rick Petrey said investigators did not know whether Mr. Hines let somebody in after answering a knock at the door or whether the two men forced their way inside.

"It's tough to tell what happened. Nothing that we know of is missing," Detective Petrey said.

Ms. Bailey said the neighborhood along North Fremont Avenue has been troubled by burglaries in recent years but that Mr. Hines -- who she said worked for Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. for 60 years before retiring -- did not want to move out.

"My house was burglarized twice. He got so he would watch my house as a favor to me," Ms. Bailey said. "He likes to watch the neighborhood. If you ask any of the local kids, they all know who Mr. Hines is."

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