Suspect barricaded in house 4 1/2 hours surrenders

January 13, 1995|By Ed Brandt and Elaine Tassy | Ed Brandt and Elaine Tassy,Sun Staff Writers

A man who struck his girlfriend in the head with a hammer barricaded himself inside his Catonsville home for 4 1/2 hours yesterday before surrendering, police said.

The woman, Carolyn Joyce Benny, 51, of the same address as the man in the 4600 block of Wilkens Ave., was in good condition at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

The confrontation between the man, who warned police he was armed, and Baltimore County police ended about 1:30 p.m. It caused police to shut down both Wilkens Avenue exit ramps from the Beltway and to detour traffic around the Wilkens Avenue and Maiden Choice Lane intersection.

Police also closed traffic into a shopping center containing a Giant Food store and several small shops across the street from the residence.

Many employees in the shopping center had arrived for work by the time police began shutting the area down about 9:15 a.m. and peered from behind windows and doors at the activity.

"It's been kind of scary and lonely," Sandy Laucht, an employee of The Dark Room, a video and film development store, said during the wait.

About 70 police officers, including the K-9 Corps and the tactical unit, patrolled the area while negotiators talked to the man by telephone. Police snipers stood on roofs of nearby office buildings.

The trouble began about 8 a.m. when Ms. Benny ran into the street in her night clothes, bleeding from the head and screaming for help, police said.

A man then called 911 from the house and said he had a gun and was going to kill himself, said Cpl. Kevin Novak, county police spokesman.

Police spent the next several hours trying to get him out of the house without anyone getting hurt.

The suspect was identified as William Joseph Scheufele, 49. Mr. Scheufele was charged with assault with intent to murder and was being held at the Wilkens Precinct lockup pending a bail hearing. Police said two .38-caliber pistols and four bullets were recovered from the house.

An employee in one of the shopping center businesses, who asked not to be identified, said Mr. Scheufele was well-known in the area.

The employee said Mr. Scheufele had been depressed by the death of his father, with whom he lived.

"The man's been taking care of his father for 20 years, and really didn't have a life," another neighbor said.

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