Officer on foot catches robbery suspect

June 23, 1994|By Michael James | Michael James,Sun Staff Writer

A man wanted in connection with 13 bank robberies was arrested after a bicycle patrol officer chased the suspect's green BMW for six blocks after a holdup in Federal Hill -- and the officer wasn't even riding his bicycle.

"There wasn't enough time to get the bikes. I had to go after him on foot," said Officer Rick Rutherford, 32. "It's one of the benefits of being in the bike patrol unit -- you stay in shape. I ride my bike 20 miles a day."

The suspect, identified by police as Durwin Keith Loud, 45, was caught Tuesday by Officer Rutherford and another officer, who was driving a cruiser, after a dye pack exploded and caused the fugitive to pull over at Hanover and Ostend streets.

"There was red dye all over the car, and his hands were burning from the dye," said Officer Craig Larkin, who helped make the arrest. "He was trying to stuff the money into one of the car seats."

Mr. Loud -- who was on probation for drug convictions and has a 1977 manslaughter conviction on his record -- got out of the car and surrendered by raising his dye-soaked hands in the air, police said.

Investigators said yesterday that Mr. Loud confessed to not only Tuesday's robbery of the Maryland National Bank in the 1000 block of Light St. but to robbing two other city banks and 10 Baltimore County banks since March 9. Federal charges were pending, police said.

The robbery of the Maryland National Bank on Light Street was committed by a man who handed a teller a threatening note. Investigators said the other robberies were also the work of a note-passing bandit.

Officer Rutherford and another bicycle patrol officer, John Walker, were getting a drink at a 7-Eleven store a few doors away from the bank when they heard a radio call about the robbery.

"Our bikes were in the 7-Eleven, but we didn't have time to get on them. We immediately went outside and there were citizens running frantically everywhere," said Officer Rutherford, who joined the bike patrol this year.

"They said the robber had just gotten into a green BMW and took off south on Light. The dye pack had exploded right near Cross Street Market, and there was a big wad of red-stained money lying in the street," he said.

Officer Walker stayed with part of the loot, which the thief dropped when the pack exploded as he was getting into his car.

Officer Rutherford chased after the BMW on foot, running south on Light, west on West Street, then south on Hanover Street. He and Officer Larkin converged on the car as the driver pulled over, his hands and eyes stinging from the acidic dye.

Did he feel tired after running full out for six blocks with the temperature near 80 degrees?

"Not really. I run about 15 miles a week, as well as ride the bike," he said. "I guess it all came in handy."

Mr. Loud, who lives in the 1200 block of Punjab Drive in Essex, has a criminal record dating to Nov. 26, 1976, when he was charged with the shooting death of James Feaster, 26, court records show. Mr. Feaster was slain after he and Mr. Loud argued at a service station where they worked as clerks, court records said.

Mr. Loud was convicted of manslaughter in Baltimore Criminal Court and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was released from prison in the mid-1980s.

On Aug. 17, 1993, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for drug distribution, but Baltimore Circuit Judge Martin P. Welch remanded the sentence to time already served -- nine months and 28 days. He was also given two years of probation, correctional officials said.

Thirteen days later, Baltimore Circuit Judge Richard T. Rombro gave Mr. Loud a five-year suspended sentence and three years of probation after he was convicted of possession of heroin and cocaine, correctional records showed.

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