Fugitive sought in crime spree arrested in city Tip leads officers to suspect in closet

September 28, 1996|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A prison escapee who allegedly went on a crime spree in Howard County and Baltimore this week was caught yesterday afternoon after police got a tip he was hiding in a West Baltimore rowhouse.

Members of the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force found Lionel Samuel Wallace, 24, hiding under a pile of clothes in a closet of a house in the first block of N. Fulton Ave., a city police spokesman said.

Police said Wallace walked away from a prison work crew Aug. 23. He was serving a five-year sentence for a handgun violation and destruction of property at the Jessup Pre-Release Unit. He was due to be released in October 1997.

Detectives interviewed Wallace in connection with several incidents. They said a man matching Wallace's description "is suspected in as many as six other robberies and carjackings in the Baltimore area" since Wednesday.

City police have charged him in warrants with holding up a convenience store and a Kentucky Fried Chicken in West Baltimore several weeks ago. Police also said he stabbed a clerk in the arm. And police said he is suspected of holding up Subway sandwich shop in the 1600 block of W. Pratt St. Thursday night.

Police in Howard County said they suspect Wallace in two house break-ins and two carjackings Thursday in Jessup.

Yesterday, city police spokesman Agent Robert W. Weinhold Jr. said police got a tip that Wallace was in the Fulton Street rowhouse. They arrested him without incident and did not recover any weapons, he said.

At the same house, the task force also arrested Claude "Pig" Gunther, 46, who has been charged in a warrant with attempted murder, weapons and drug violations, forgery and check fraud.

Pub Date: 9/28/96

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