Police say gun found on suspect in their custody for 12 hours

March 27, 1998|By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan | Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF

Anne Arundel County police want to know how a suspect in a shoplifting case could have had a loaded semiautomatic handgun in his possession at the county Detention Center more than 12 hours after he was arrested, by which time police officers should have searched him at least twice, police say.

Lt. Jeff Kelly, a police spokesman, said yesterday that the department's internal affairs division has targeted at least one officer, whom he could not identify, in its investigation.

Andrew J. Hurajt III, 23, of the first block of Melrob Court in Annapolis was arrested just before 4 p.m. Sunday at Parole Plaza in Annapolis and taken to the Southern District station in Edgewater, where he was held for several hours, then taken before a District Court commissioner for an initial hearing, Kelly said.

Hurajt was sent to the Detention Center, where he arrived before 5 a.m., according to Richard Baker, the superintendent. The gun was discovered at midmorning, shortly before a bail hearing.

"We need to find out how this happened," Kelly said.

According to court documents, Cpl. Gregory Leonard Lane arrested Hurajt in the attempted theft of a video camera from the Sears store at Parole Plaza and took him to the Southern District station.

Kelly said police procedure requires officers to search suspects after making arrests.

The policy is before a suspect is taken anywhere, "whoever is doing the transportation is directed to conduct a search," Kelly said.

When suspects are taken to district stations for processing, officers usually search them again for "weapons or contraband," he said.

Detention Center officials would not say where or how the weapon was discovered.

Hurajt was charged with possession of a concealed deadly weapon. He was released Tuesday on $2,500 bond.

Pub Date: 3/27/98

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