Nude suspect startles bystanders in dash from police

June 30, 1994|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Sun Staff Writer

A naked theft suspect escaped from the Aberdeen police station, scaled a fence and startled bystanders as he fled along a main street in the Harford County town before two officers tackled him and took him away, the officers reported yesterday.

"You just don't expect anyone to take off on you under those circumstances," Capt. Charles Lawson said, reporting that the suspect bolted from the station during a strip search.

The suspect, Mark Robert Saunders, 28, of Edgewood, was caught after a brief chase at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, police said. He was taken to Harford Memorial Hospital, where he received six stitches to close a cut on his scrotum that he apparently got going over the fence.

Captain Lawson said he tore a new pair of pants going over the fence during the chase and injured his right foot when he tried to tackle the man and missed. Officer Eric Stone, who was conducting the strip-search when the man fled, tore his shirt on the fence, the captain said.

Mr. Saunders had been arrested on charges of theft and malicious destruction, police said.

Captain Lawson said the suspect shoved him aside at the rear door of the police station and fled, running along Walnut Alley, then over the fence and on toward West Bel Air Avenue.

"I went right over the fence after him -- that's how I tore my pants -- and Officer Stone was right behind me," the captain said.

As the man crossed West Bel Air Avenue, Captain Lawson said he heard an elderly woman screaming, "Look, there's a naked man!"

"I caught up to him and tried for a flying tackle," the captain chuckled. "I just slid off."

The missed tackle, however, slowed the man enough so Officer Stone could promptly collar him in the 200 block of W. Bel Air Ave.

Mr. Saunders was charged with assault on Captain Lawson and Officer Stone, destruction of property -- the captain's torn $40 pants and the officer's torn $30 shirt -- and escape, in addition to the original charges, Captain Lawson said.

After Mr. Saunders was treated and released from the hospital, he was taken to the Harford County Detention Center in Bel Air. He was held without bond.

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