Obstruction charge brings guilty plea Man admits destroying property over lawsuit

March 29, 1998|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF

A Queen Anne's County man pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice Friday, admitting he destroyed grass and shrubbery at the home of a Severna Park man who had filed suit against the son of the head of an alleged local drug ring.

David Wayne Griscom, 32, of Millington also admitted damaging the finish on four of Ralph A. Walker's cars as part of an effort to scare Walker into dropping the suit. Griscom appeared in Anne Arundel Circuit Court.

Griscom is to pay $3,000 in restitution and could be sentenced to as much as five years in prison, depending on the extent of his cooperation in the federal case against the Baumgartens, a family that allegedly ran a cocaine and marijuana distribution ring from a Severna Park barbershop, said Assistant State's Attorney M. Virginia Miles.

Griscom destroyed landscaping around Walker's home in the 700 block of Stinchcomb Road and damaged his cars in June and July 1992 at the request of Anthony Baumgarten, according to court documents.

Walker had filed suit against Baumgarten, his neighbor in Manhattan Woods, in March of that year, claiming Baumgarten had beaten him up. Walker asked for $100,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. Baumgarten, son of alleged drug ring leader John Baumgarten Sr., counter-sued, claiming Walker had beaten him up. He sought $115,000 in damages.

Walker dropped his suit in September 1992.

"He kind of figured it out," Miles said of the connection between the vandalism and Walker's suit.

Griscom agreed to vandalize Walker's property because he had lost $13,000 of the Baumgartens' money in the mid-1980s, when he went to Florida to buy cocaine for them and was robbed, Miles said.

Pub Date: 3/29/98

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