Man is accused of stealing jug for police fund

April 16, 1997|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A water jug used to solicit donations for the city police union's legal defense fund was stolen from a Southwest Baltimore restaurant, and a man charged with its theft faces trial next month, police said.

Sean Lee Davis, 18, of the 1300 of Filbert St. in Curtis Bay was charged with theft under $300. He was released on his own recognizance pending the trial set for May 12 in District Court.

The five-gallon jug -- one of a dozen placed recently in city bars, restaurants and stores -- carried a photograph of four police officers and the statement: "We are there when you need help. Now we need your help."

Police said Officer Robert Ortt arrested the suspect April 4, based on information from witnesses who said they saw the jug being taken from the State Diner in the 2800 block of Wilkens Ave.

"Somebody has to be pretty desperate to steal from an organization that supports police," said Officer Gary McLhinney, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3. Police said they have not recovered the jug or its contents.

The fund was set up to help pay for appeals by Sgt. Stephen Pagotto, who in February was sentenced to three years in prison for involuntary manslaughter in the 1996 line-of-duty fatal

shooting of Preston E. Barnes.

Pub Date: 4/16/97

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