Youth fleeing police officers becomes stuck in chimney

He's trapped for an hour before firefighters free him in West Baltimore

May 03, 1999|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,SUN STAFF

A youth fleeing from police last night became stuck in the chimney of a demolished West Baltimore house and was trapped for more than an hour before firefighters cut him free.

The youth, 17, whose name was withheld, was treated for minor injuries at University of Maryland Medical Center, then taken to the juvenile detention center at the Northern District station house, police said.

Incident starts at 8: 20 p.m.

Police said the incident began about 8: 20 p.m. in the 1300 block of Harlem Ave. where Officer John Hodge spotted a youth he recognized carrying a bag that Hodge suspected contained narcotics.

The youth saw Hodge, dropped the bag and fled down an alley behind the 600 block of N. Calhoun St. with Hodge and Officer Robert W. Peregoy in pursuit.

At an opening between two houses, the youth ran to the front of the street and into 635 N. Calhoun, an occupied three-story rowhouse.

He climbed to the top floor, out a window onto a fire escape and up to the roof, Hodge said.

Hodge said the youth ran across the roofs of four houses but had to stop when he came to an empty space that once was 643 N. Calhoun St.

Call for firefighters

The youth then entered the remains of a chimney at 643 Calhoun -- attached to the north wall of the next rowhouse -- and fell 15 feet before he became trapped. Hodge and Peregoy called for firefighters.

Lt. Mitchell Fisher of Rescue One said Aerial Tower 102 responded, and firefighters David Lohr and John Simms were raised to the chimney.

They used an air-powered tool to cut a hole through the bricks and pulled the youth from the chimney about 9: 40 p.m..

The youth was handcuffed and taken by ambulance to the hospital.

Hodge said the bag dropped by the youth contained two pounds of marijuana.

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