2 golfers find themselves in a rough spot

August 26, 1994|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Sun Staff Writer

Police were searching yesterday for two teen-agers who robbed a pair of golfers at gunpoint Wednesday afternoon as they were playing on a city course in West Baltimore.

The youths approached two of four golfers near the women's tee at the sixth hole at the Forest Park Municipal Golf Course and threatened them with a rifle, police said.

After stealing $70, the armed youth fired one round down the fairway in the direction of another golfer who yelled out in an

attempt to scare them off, one of the victims said yesterday.

The robbery occurred about 2:15 p.m., moments after Stephen Walters, 40, of Lutherville, bungled his drive, with the ball landing the rough near the women's tee.

He walked to his ball and was waiting for his partner, Linda Tricky, 45, of Glen Burnie, to hit her tee shot, when the youths, who had their faces covered with bandannas, emerged from the woods.

"I'm not very streetwise," Mr. Walters said. "I actually thought that they were a couple of kids playing soldier. I thought the gun was a toy rifle."

Mr. Walters said he told the youths, "You've got to be kidding" when they announced a robbery, but he quickly became serious when the armed teen cocked the weapon. "That sounded real," he said.

Sgt. Ernest C. Judd, of the Northwestern District, said the youths stole a wallet containing $50 from Mr. Walters and $20 from Ms. Tricky's golf bag.

Another golfer standing about 40 yards away, realizing what was happening, yelled "Hey," prompting the armed youth to spin around and fire. Police said no one was hit.

The youths then took off through the woods. Other golfers

signaled to club marshals, who called police and escorted the golfers back to the club house. Their money for the round of golf was refunded.

Mr. Walters said the robbery appeared to be well planned, in that the sixth hole is at the far end of the course, has thick woods on one side and provides an escape route through a neighboring community.

John Ladd, director of golf for the Baltimore Municipal Golf Corporation, said robberies have occurred on the golf course before, but are not a regular occurance.

He said workers yesterday were clearing underbrush and thinning the woods, hoping to eliminate hiding places. The marshals also routinely patrol the course.

"It is too bad," he said of Wednesday's attack. "How do I fix it? We offer junior programs for kids, hoping some will stick with it and stay out of trouble. We try."

Sergeant Judd said robberies of golfers are not all that uncommon. "It happens," he said. "This is not that unusual."

For his part, Mr. Walters is taking the robbery in stride.

"It's my punishment for leaving the office early," he said. "If I had hit a good drive, then maybe it would have been someone else who had gotten robbed."

The Lutherville resident said an investigating officer asked him why he played in Baltimore when he lived in the suburbs.

"Well, I like Forest Park," he said. "I don't want anyone to be so paranoid that they feel anytime they go into the city they are taking a grave risk. I don't think that is true."

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