Man, 95, beaten by thieves in his home in Feb. dies

August 06, 1994|By Melody Simmons | Melody Simmons,Sun Staff Writer

Ollie Hines, a 95-year-old West Baltimore resident who was severely beaten by thieves in February, died early Thursday in his sleep at a Columbia nursing home.

Baltimore police have ordered an autopsy to determine the cause of Mr. Hines' death, said police spokesman Sam Ringgold.

If the autopsy reveals that Mr. Hines died from injuries sustained in the attack, the incident will be classified as a homicide. Robbery detectives have identified two suspects in the case, but have made no arrests, Mr. Ringgold said.

Mr. Hines, a retired 36-year employee of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. who lived in a Fulton Avenue rowhouse, was beaten by two men as he prepared dinner shortly before 6 p.m. Feb. 15, police said.

The men took $20, a small marble statue and a videocassette recorder. They then savagely beat Mr. Hines, leaving him to die, said his son Howard Hines.

Ollie Hines suffered a shattered cheekbone and many facial cuts, his son said. Since then, he has suffered a stroke, seizures and kidney failure and his medical bills could total nearly $100,000, the son added.

Yesterday, the Hines family gathered at James A. Morton & Sons Funeral Home in West Baltimore to prepare for a service scheduled at noon today at New Shiloh Baptist Church.

"He died in his sleep. I prayed for that -- that he would go peacefully, not in pain or agony," Howard Hines said. "So God granted me my desire in that prayer. I'm thankful for that."

In a July 17 article in The Sun, which detailed his father's attack and the effect it has had on the Hines family, the son said he was filled with anguish over the senseless beating and other random crimes against the city's elderly residents.

"I wanted my father to grow old and die naturally," he said. "I don't want to hear about the rights of junkies and drug dealers. They might have gotten enough money from my father for one stinking high. Does a man have to die so another man can get high? This is mind-blowing to me. Incomprehensible."

The article led to numerous calls of support for the Hines family and a prayer vigil for the injured man by an interdenominational group of downtown churches, the younger Mr. Hines said.

"The last thing my father said to me was to think about the good things," said Howard Hines, 47. "I'm trying to put that into practice, to think about the good things he did and the fun times. My father had been very helpful in giving me whatever I need to live: to be a good worker, and a good father, he taught me to stay out of trouble and to love the Lord. I will be hurt for a long while. This will stay with me. It will affect me for the rest of my life."

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