Man found fatally hurt after apparent robbery

June 07, 1994|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,Sun Staff Writer Sun staff writer Michael James contributed to this article.

Jacques Mosse, described as shy, quiet and kind, normally rode the Central Light Rail between his North Baltimore home and his evening shift job in Timonium. But he worked too late to catch the last rail car, and that may have cost the 39-year-old printer his life.

Baltimore County Police found Mr. Mosse lying on the sidewalk in Lutherville, suffering from severe head injuries, at 5:30 a.m. Saturday. He died at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center. An autopsy is scheduled for today.

Police said Mr. Mosse had completed work about 1 a.m. Saturday at SpecPrint, a printing company at 7 Aylesbury Road in Timonium that specializes in blueprints.

Because the last light rail car had run at midnight, Mr. Mosse walked two blocks to York Road to catch a bus to the North Charles Street apartment where he had lived for more than six years. Police said he stopped at an automatic teller machine at the Maryland National Bank at 1730 York Road and withdrew "less than $50."

There, police believe, a man chased Mr. Mosse, knocked him to the ground and robbed him. The victim, who was 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighed 150 pounds, struck his head on the pavement, police said.

Investigators still are trying to piece together an account of the crime, including three missing hours between the time a witness reported the attack and the time Mr. Mosse was found.

Meanwhile, police have released a description of the killer and are seeking two people who apparently saw at least part of the attack.

A man driving north on York Road at 2:10 a.m. Saturday told police a purple Saturn in front of him braked sharply to avoid striking two men running across York Road. Police believe one of the men was Mr. Mosse, who was caught by his pursuer in the middle of the street.

The witness, who was calling from nearby pay phone, mistakenly reported that the incident had occurred in front of Lutherville Elementary School, almost a block south of the bank, police said. Officers went to the school, but said they could find nothing.

More than three hours later, police received another call about a man lying on the sidewalk in front of Watson's Garden Center at 1620 York Road, a block south of the school. It was Mr. Mosse. He first taken to St. Joseph Hospital and then transferred to Shock Trauma.

Police said they don't know if Mr. Mosse was carried the two blocks from the attack scene or might have wandered there.

The witness described Mr. Mosse's attacker as a black man in his early 20s, about 5 feet, 10 inches tall, with a thin build and short hair. He was wearing a white shirt and black pants.

The witness said another man at the scene might have seen the attack, and police are also looking for the driver of the purple Saturn.

Mr. Mosse's death shocked his family, his employer and the manager of his apartment building.

His mother, Gerda Mosse, said she was on a trip in France when she got a call at 2:30 a.m. Sunday from her sister, Doris Bloch of Olney, who told her that her son had been attacked and injured. She flew home immediately.

"I haven't gotten over the trauma yet," said Mrs. Mosse, 68, said yesterday from Ms. Bloch's home. "I just don't know. I'm angry that he was killed because he wasn't a gang member, he wasn't the type of person you'd think of who would be killed and murdered in the streets. . . . He wouldn't have harmed anyone."

Mrs. Mosse, who lives in Los Altos, Calif., said she had talked to her son by phone last week and was planning to visit him in mid-July. She said he grew up in California and lived in Ohio before moving to Baltimore.

"We talked every week," she said. "We had very close contact, although it was long-distance."

She described her son, who was a bachelor, as a shy and quiet person with a few close friends.

"He was . . . one of the kindest people you could ever meet," she said. "He was always thinking of people, to give them pleasure."

Joseph Jenkins, vice president of SpecPrint, called Mr. Mosse "the ideal employee."

"He kept to himself, but did what you told him to . . ." Mr. Jenkins said. "Everybody is stunned and shocked that this could happen."

Diane Crosby, property manager for the Charles Apartments near the Johns Hopkins University, where Mr. Mosse had lived since 1988, said the printer was an "ideal resident," a gentle man who kept to himself and "never caused any problems."

"I know that if someone came up to him, he would've said, 'Go ahead and take it,' " Ms. Crosby said. "He would not have resisted, and I'm sure he didn't. . . . It's just awful.

Mr. Mosse is the third homicide victim in as many weeks from the North Baltimore area near Johns Hopkins.

On May 14, William H. McClain, a retired Johns Hopkins professor, died during a robbery and assault on the porch of his Oakenshawe rowhouse. A week later, Marvin B. Cooper, a lawyer, was fatally shot by a robber across from his Oakenshawe residence.

Two men have been arrested in the attack on Mr. McClain.

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