A 31-year-old Aberdeen man, who was accused of trying to rob a woman of $20 at an automated teller machine at Beard's Hill Plaza last year was acquitted in Harford Circuit Court last week.
Paul Stuart Weintraub of the 3500 block of Farm Road testified that he slipped on ice and fell into the woman, Charlene Kirby, and accidentally knocked her to the ground just after she had made a $20 withdrawal.
Ms. Kirby, 30, of Aberdeen contended that Mr. Weintraub had a roll of gray duct tape and tried to place the tape over her mouth at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 26, 1994.
Mr. Weintraub, a jewelry repairman who denied knowing of of any duct tape at the scene, said the woman became hysterical after he fell into her and screamed, kicked and clawed him.
The jury of nine men and three women deliberated about 90 minutes at the end of the three-day trial before returning its not guilty verdict on the charges of attempted robbery, attempted theft, attempted kidnapping, theft, assault with intent to rob, battery, assault and false imprisonment.
In their remarks to the jury, defense lawyers Roland Walker of Baltimore and Stanley Getz of Bel Air stressed the reasonable doubt they said was involved in the case.
Mr. Walker asked the panel to consider why a man with more than $6,000 in his bank account, and who had just deposited his paycheck and was filmed by the ATM camera, would want to rob a woman of $20.
Prosecutor Jay Robinson argued that the defendant did not act reasonably because he did not immediately apologize for what he later said was an accident.
Instead, the prosecutor said, the defendant sat down, then threw Ms. Kirby's bank card at her and left in his car after she had noted the defendant's license tag number and fled.
Ms. Kirby was treated at Kirk Army Hospital for contusions and abrasions of her elbow, wrist, thumb, left eye and back, then released.
Police used the tag number to find Mr. Weintraub. He was arrested at his home Feb. 2, 1994, and indicted by a Harford grand jury June 1.