Bomb scare leads to standoff

June 06, 1995|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Sun Staff Writer Sun staff writer Christina Asquith contributed to this article.

Anne Arundel County police surrounded a Motel 6 in North Linthicum late yesterday morning after a housekeeper noticed wires, batteries and switches that appeared to be a bomb on a bed in a room.

County police arrived at the motel in the 5100 block of Raynor Ave. about 11:30 a.m. and evacuated guests in rooms near the third-floor corner room. They tried unsuccessfully to contact the man staying in the room.

The man, whom police would not identify, took the telephone in the room off the hook. Police put a portable phone outside the door to the room, but he would not pick it up.

Police said they did not know whether the man was armed, but the housekeeper told police he had seen what appeared to be a bomb.

Police said there are several warrants for the man's arrest, but they would not discuss the nature of the charges.

Late yesterday, about 30 Anne Arundel officers, including a negotiating team, a tactical squad with sharpshooters and officers controlling traffic were at the scene.

The housekeeper went into the room between 11:15 and 11:30, saw what appeared to be a bomb and returned to the motel office, where the manager called police.

Shortly before police arrived, the man called the manager at the front desk and warned him not to send in police "or they would suffer the consequences," said Officer Randy Bell, county police spokesman.

Police blocked off Nursery Road from Fairview Avenue to the Route 295 overpass and rerouted traffic around the motel.

Police said they also were checking a vehicle in the area, but they would not describe it other than to say that it belonged to the man in the motel room.

Baltimore County sent a bomb-sniffing dog to the motel. Shortly before 4 p.m. the dog and its handler, Linda T. Maybry, entered the motel. They returned 10 minutes later, but the dog did not detect any explosives, police said.

About 5:30 p.m., the man began shouting unintelligibly.

Agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms arrived shortly after 6 p.m., but Officer Bell said county police had not sum

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moned them.

Emmett J. Gossen, spokesman for the Dallas-based Motel 6 chain, said the man had spent three nights at the motel. He said a clerk had told management that the man was "rude and he was acting kind of odd."

Vickie Messerly, 18, was working at the front desk Sunday night when the man came to the lobby looking

for a telephone book.

"He was walking around with his hands around his ears. He was real scruffy, and he look very unwashed," she said.

While police tried to negotiate with the man, guests who had been evacuated from their rooms mingled in the parking lot of a nearby gas station.

Heather Smith, 18, of Glen Burnie said she was staying at the motel

with a friend until she could find an apartment.

When they were awakened and told to leave, "we don't even have our shoes," she said. "All my stuff, my purse. I have to go to work."

Mr. Gossen said the company would put up guests at other Motel 6 properties in the area.

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