Teen-ager held in Baltimore golf course robbery

September 13, 1994|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Sun Staff Writer

A teen-ager was being held on $50,000 bail yesterday after being charged with robbing a group of golfers on a city course last month, and police said the youth is one of several teens suspected in three other armed robberies in Northeast Baltimore.

Michael Miller, 16, of the 1600 block of Sherwood Ave. was charged as an adult with two counts of armed robbery. He was ordered held in the city Detention Center by a District Court judge on Friday.

Three 15-year-olds, two of them twin brothers, also were charged as juveniles in connection with the Aug. 29 robbery at the Mount Pleasant Golf Course. Two have been released to their parents and one was being held yesterday at the Waxter Children's Center.

Police said they believe the four also were involved in a series of robberies on streets near the course, incidents that include the holdups of a cabdriver and of deliverymen from a sub shop and a pizza parlor.

"We can breathe easy," said Maj. Bert Shirey, commander of the Northeastern Police District, who has increased patrols at the course and its surrounding neighborhoods. "We are delighted to catch these guys. It reassures people that sometimes these things don't go unavenged."

The golf course robbery occurred about 4:10 p.m. when two youths, one armed with a handgun, emerged from behind a cedar tree near the green at the 16th hole and robbed the three golfers of about $10.

Among the victims were outspoken Baltimore critic Blair Lee IV, a columnist for the Montgomery Journal, and C. Fraser Smith, a political reporter for The Sun.

Each bandit wore a towel or other cloth around the face. The gunman forced Mr. Smith -- who had hit his approach shot over the green and was closest to the cedar tree -- to get down on his knees and empty his pockets.

It was the second armed robbery at a city course in a week. On Aug. 25, two teen-agers robbed a pair of golfers of $70 at the Forest Park Golf Course. A robber armed with a rifle fired a shot up a fairway, but no one was injured. Police said the two robberies are not related.

One of the golfers robbed at Mount Pleasant, John T. Oakley, a 44-year-old property manager, called the arrests "good news" yesterday.

He said last month "was the first and only time" he has played golf at Mount Pleasant, but added, "I wouldn't mind going back now that I know that it is safe."

Mr. Lee said he was surprised by the arrests.

"I figured these guys would meld into the neighborhood and wouldn't be seen again," he said. "Part of me wants to say I hope there is intervention and they should be turned around. The other part of me says they are a danger to society. I guess there's nothing I can do except be careful about where I play golf."

Lynnie Cook, the executive director of the Baltimore Municipal Golf Corp., a private nonprofit company that runs four city courses, said officials "certainly are very pleased" with the arrests.

Officer Gregory S. MacGillivary, of the Northeastern Police District, said the four youths, which include the 15-year-old twins, worked together in the string of armed robberies, all on streets near the Mount Pleasant Golf Course.

In each case, Officer MacGillivary said, one of the youths was armed with a .38-caliber handgun, although he said investigators have not yet recovered the weapon.

Police said they received a break in the cases when an anonymous caller telephoned the Northeastern District and reported that persons wanted in the Sept. 5 holdup of a Domino's Pizza delivery person could be found at a house in the 1700 block of Wadsworth Way.

Sam Ringgold, a police spokesman, said the tipster gave enough details that police believe she witnessed the Domino's robbery.

Questioning of those youths led to the Miller suspect, police said.

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