Man arrested, accused of scratching racial epithets into cars, slashing tires

October 06, 1998|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

Howard County police have arrested a 53-year-old man accused of slashing tires and scratching racial epithets into cars the Columbia Palace 9 movie theater over the weekend.

Roger Thomas Nichols of no fixed address is charged with six counts of destruction of property, a hate crime and possession of a concealed deadly weapon, police said.

About 4: 30 p.m. Sunday, police said, someone scratched a racial epithet into three cars parked on the theater lot. Police officers responded and took reports, said Sgt. Morris Carroll, a police spokesman.

Almost three hours later, a man called police and claimed responsibility for the markings, saying he watched officers at the scene and later returned to slash more tires, Carroll said.

The man also said he "hated Howard County" and was a member of the Aryan Nation, Carroll said.

Police traced the call to a pay phone at a nearby gas station, Carroll said.

Officers questioned a truck driver at the station and were told that a man, laughing to himself, had gotten into a yellow Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme and driven away, Carroll said.

Police found a yellow Cutlass on the parking lot of the Palace 9 with Nichols behind the wheel, Carroll said.

Nichols was arrested after officers searched the car and found an ice pick and a lead pipe covered with tape, Carroll said.

Pub Date: 10/06/98

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