Teen accused in car crash has a record Boy has 10 arrests as juvenile, police say

January 30, 1996|By Dan Thanh Dang | Dan Thanh Dang,SUN STAFF

The 17-year-old boy accused of driving a stolen car that hit and critically injured a woman in Northeast Baltimore on Saturday had been arrested at least 10 times before as a juvenile, including four on auto thefts, authorities said yesterday.

Police said the city state's attorney's office was reviewing the latest case to consider whether to charge the Rosedale youth as an adult.

The victim, Adrienne Walker-Pittman, 36, who became familiar to the public in her job as a spokeswoman for Baltimore- Washington International Airport, lost her left leg below the knee and remained in critical condition yesterday at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

City and Baltimore County police said the youth had been arrested as a juvenile previously on charges of drug possession, trespassing and breaking and entering, in addition to auto theft.

Repeat juvenile offenders are a problem that police say they run into all the time.

"If he were an adult, without a doubt he would be in jail right now," said city police Sgt. Mark E. Howe, a west squad supervisor of the joint city-county Regional Auto Theft Team, when told of the suspect's juvenile record.

The task force's work has been credited in a 17 percent to 20 percent drop in city and county auto thefts last year, and the Baltimore metropolitan area had the largest decrease in auto thefts in the state for 1995.

But dealing with juvenile offenders is a constant battle, said the county's Detective Sgt. Robert J. Jagoe, a supervisor for the task force's eastern squad.

About noon Saturday, county Officer David E. Schwanke spotted a stolen 1992 Honda in the Rosedale area, followed it at what police described as moderate speed, and radioed for help when they crossed the border into the city.

The county police cruiser's lights and sirens were not being used as Officer Schwanke kept pace, and then lost sight of the Honda when the driver ran a stop sign on Radecke Avenue, turned onto Todd Avenue and struck a moving van and Ms. Walker-Pittman.

Police said the victim was reaching into the trunk of her car while movers packed furniture at her family's Todd Avenue home in Cedonia.

At the victim's home yesterday, her husband, Jerry O. Pittman, had this message on the telephone answering machine:

"Leave a message or prayers for Adrienne. Please remember, we will trust in God and we want you to trust him with us that we know Adrienne will come through and that we will be in our home together in the future as a family."

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