Man who climbed high-rise during chase is arrested

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

A man who is charged with shooting seven people and who allegedly eluded police efforts to capture him three weeks ago by scaling the outside of a public housing high-rise in Baltimore was arrested early yesterday in Prince George's County.

Members of the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force captured Solothal Thomas, 21, known as "Itchy-Man," in a third-floor apartment in Oxon Hill about 4 a.m. He is charged with multiple counts of attempted murder, armed robbery and drug distribution.

Thomas was being sought in the so-called Shake and Bake shootings on March 16, in which seven people were shot near the Baltimore Neighborhood Recreation Facility, formerly the Shake and Bake Family Fun Center, in the 1600 block of Pennsylvania Ave.

On Nov. 6, the FBI Fugitive Violent Crimes Task Force went to the George B. Murphy Homes to arrest a suspect and confronted him as he walked outside a side entrance of the 14-story building.

Police said the suspect pulled himself up to a first-floor balcony, then climbed from balcony to balcony until he reached the seventh floor, found a vacant apartment and got inside.

About 50 heavily armed city police tactical officers surrounded the building and searched every floor, keeping hundreds of residents inside.

Police closed Martin Luther King Boulevard and U.S. 40, both major roads into and out of the city, causing tie-ups that lasted several hours. They ended the search after five hours.

Pub Date: 11/28/96

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