Suspect is arrested in two bomb scares at Md. State House Building was evacuated after package was found

August 30, 1996|By William F. Zorzi Jr. | William F. Zorzi Jr.,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Dennis O'Brien contributed to this article.

Maryland State Police arrested a Washington man yesterday, minutes after a suspicious package addressed to Gov. Parris N. Glendening was spied outside the State House and forced the building's evacuation for the second time this month.

Arrested and charged with two counts of "placing a hoax device" -- a suspected bomb -- was Daniel James, 62, whose last known address was G Street in Washington, said Col. David B. Mitchell, the state police superintendent.

jTC Police charged James in yesterday's incident and in an Aug. 5 bomb scare that forced employees from the State House and nearby buildings.

Mitchell said a state building and grounds maintenance worker saw a man placing the suspicious package outside a ground-floor door of the State House yesterday and notified police. A short time later, a state trooper arrested James on Rowe Boulevard, within blocks of the Capitol.

James, dressed in khaki-colored shirt and pants, was denied bail by a District Court commissioner after he refused to answer questions about his marital status and where he worked.

He will appear before a District judge for a bail review hearing, probably today, officials said.

The charge of placing a hoax device is a misdemeanor and

carries a maximum penalty of a year in prison and a $1,000 fine, Mitchell said.

The State House was evacuated at about 10: 25 a.m., and workers were not allowed to return until about 1: 30 p.m., after the state fire marshal's bomb squad determined the package -- an 8 1/2 -by-11-inch white envelope -- was not a bomb.

Glendening was out of town during both incidents -- vacationing in California on Aug. 5, and in Chicago this week for the Democratic National Convention.

The envelope found yesterday was in a concrete urn used as an ashtray beneath the rear steps of the State House. It contained "printed material" and a plastic-backed disposable paper tablecloth wrapped in cellophane -- much like the material in an envelope, believed initially to be a diaper, that forced the Aug. 5 evacuation, Mitchell said.

The superintendent described the printed material discovered yesterday as being "long, detailed" information, some of which had been "cut and pasted," but he did not elaborate.

A law enforcement source later said the printed material in the package was rambling information about the government and did not mention Glendening.

James "is no stranger to the criminal justice system or the Maryland State Police," Mitchell said. He said James had a record of "felonies and such," but it could not be learned whether he had been convicted of any crime. Mitchell would not comment further, citing laws governing confidentiality of criminal histories.

Mitchell did say James "frequently writes elected officials."

Pub Date: 8/30/96

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.