Suspect flees city deputy about to arrest him Police say man didn't appear for criminal trial

February 12, 1997|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,SUN STAFF

A man escaped from the Clarence Mitchell Jr. Courthouse in Baltimore yesterday as a city sheriff's deputy was about to arrest him for failing to appear for trial, the city sheriff said.

Lamont Chestnut, 21, whose last known address was in the 800 block of N. Avondale Road in Turners Station, Baltimore County, was late appearing for trial yesterday before Circuit Judge David B. Mitchell on drug and burglary charges, according to Sheriff John W. Anderson.

Shortly after Mitchell issued a bench warrant charging Chestnut with failure to appear, a sheriff's deputy noticed two men and a woman sitting on a bench near the second-floor courtroom about 2: 15 p.m., Anderson said.

He said the deputy asked the men if either was Chestnut and neither answered. But the woman, a relative of Chestnut's, told the deputy that one of the men was Chestnut.

When the deputy tried to serve the warrant and arrest Chestnut, Anderson said, Chestnut pushed the deputy aside and ran down a stairway of the courthouse in the 100 block of N. Calvert St. and out to crowded East Fayette Street.

The man ran to East Baltimore Street, where at Guilford Avenue, witnesses told deputies, he hailed a Yellow Cab that was last seen heading east on Baltimore Street.

City police stopped and searched several Yellow Cabs in the downtown area but did not find Chestnut.

Police also were checking the cab company's trip manifests to determine where the man identified as Chestnut might have left the cab.

Anderson said police, sheriff's deputies and the FBI Fugitive Task Force were searching for Chestnut.

Pub Date: 2/12/97

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