Man shoots 2 youths after being stabbed in robbery attempt Teen-agers face charges of attempted murder in early morning incident

August 23, 1996|By Richard Irwin and Erin Texeira | Richard Irwin and Erin Texeira,SUN STAFF

A man shot two youths after one of them allegedly stabbed him during an attempted robbery while he was reading a newspaper early yesterday morning in downtown Baltimore, police said.

Curtis A. Smalls, 39, of the 2500 block of W. Pratt St. initially was in serious condition with stab wounds, but his condition was downgraded yesterday evening to critical and stable, according to a spokeswoman for Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Both youths face charges. One is in critical condition; the other was treated and released.

Police said Smalls was sitting on a bench near the USF&G building in the first block of E. Pratt St. about 2: 45 a.m. reading a paper when he was approached by five young males.

As the youths neared Smalls, one of them broke away from the others, approached Smalls and asked for a quarter, according to city police Agent Robert W. Weinhold Jr. The youth began going through Small's pockets; he resisted and began to defend himself by shoving the youth, the police spokesman said.

A second suspect entered the fray and tripped Smalls, causing him to fall to the pavement. While Smalls was on the ground, one assailant pulled a knife and stabbed the man several times in the neck and shoulder while attempting to steal his wallet, police said.

Police said the remaining three youths stood back and did not take part.

Bleed-ing and trying to fend off more blows from the knife, police said, Smalls pulled a .38-caliber handgun from his clothing and fired at least four shots at his attackers.

One youth was shot in the right arm and stumbled away, police said. He made his way on his own to Johns Hopkins Hospital.

The second youth, shot in the stomach, was found a half-block away by the crew of a city Fire Department ambulance.

Police identified the youth shot in the stomach as Thomas Muldraw, 18, of the 3600 block of Garrison Blvd. He was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center and was in critical condition.

The other wounded youth, Michael Allen, 16, of the 2600 block of E. Monument St. was treated at Hopkins and released into police custody.

Police said Allen was charged as an adult with attempted murder, attempted armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.

Identical charges against Muldraw were awaiting his release from Shock Trauma, police said.

The three other youths were interviewed by police and released without charges.

Weinhold said Smalls frequently went downtown in the early-morning hours to walk around and read the paper.

"That's a habit he's got, reading the paper," said Edna Smalls, his mother. "He is one of my best [children], so quiet. He doesn't bother anybody."

His mother, who lives with her son, and neighbors described Smalls as an extremely private man who didn't talk much but was always polite.

Weinhold said police were investigating to determine if Smalls had a permit to carry a firearm.

Pub Date: 8/23/96

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