Tip helps police catch Westminster man on the run Suspect in stabbing of ex-girlfriend is found at mother's Pa. home

February 11, 1996|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,SUN STAFF

A 49-year-old Westminster man sought by authorities for nearly a year was arrested Friday morning at his mother's home in Harrisburg, Pa., after FBI agents followed up on an anonymous tip.

Charles Bernard Thomas Jr. of Center Street -- also known as "Slick Duck" -- was being held in the Dauphin County Prison on $500,000 bail while awaiting an extradition hearing.

Police said the hearing is expected to take place tomorrow or Tuesday.

Police said Mr Thomas faces charges of attempted first-degree murder, maiming, malicious injury, carrying a deadly weapon with intent to injure, stalking, theft and battery upon his return to Westminster.

Carroll County State's Attorney Jerry F. Barnes said his office will recommend that Mr. Thomas be held without bond when he returns.

Mr. Thomas, accused of stabbing a former girlfriend in a Carroll Community College stairwell last March 28, has been on the run since then, according to authorities.

FBI agents were brought into the case because Mr. Thomas was a fugitive and police suspected he had crossed state lines.

"He didn't resist," said Westminster police Lt. Randy Barnes of Mr. Thomas' arrest about 2 a.m. Friday. "They just sent in two regular policeman. He was hiding behind a bathroom door in the apartment."

Police have said the 57-year-old victim -- who is not being named to protect her privacy -- was working as a custodian at the community college's Center Street annex when someone stabbed her, beat her, kicked her in one eye and threw her down a flight of stairs.

The woman -- who had lived with Mr. Thomas for about 18 years -- was found about 7 a.m. by a fellow employee. Her car, a 1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, had been stolen, but it was recovered the next day on Watersville Road in Mount Airy.

Police say the woman -- who identified Mr. Thomas as her attacker -- had accused him almost a week earlier of kidnapping her, attempting to rape her and then taking her to the home of a relative in Harrisburg.

At that time, Mr. Thomas was charged with interstate kidnapping, assault, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, first-degree burglary, false imprisonment and deadly weapon counts.

Although court commissioners initially set bail in that case at $30,000, District Judge Donald M. Smith reduced it to a $5,000 unsecured bond.

Unsecured bond means the accused does not have to post money or collateral to be released from jail.

It was later revealed that prosecutors failed to inform Judge Smith, now retired, of Mr. Thomas' 30-year criminal background which included convictions for manslaughter, grand theft, burglary and other offenses.

The oversight resulted in Jerry Barnes directing all prosecutors to make clear the state's attorney's position in bail review hearings.

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