Banquet hall owner gets probation for assault

Judge also fines man $1,000 for threatening neighbors with revolver

May 20, 1999|By Joan Jacobson | Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF

Martin R. Resnick, a wealthy and politically connected caterer, was convicted and given probation yesterday for assaulting his neighbors last summer in their exclusive Caves Valley community by waving a gun and threatening to blow their kneecaps off.

Baltimore County District Judge A. Gordon Boone Jr. noted Resnick's lack of a criminal record and long history of community service as he gave the owner of Martin's Caterers probation before judgment, which allows his guilty verdict yesterday on two counts of second-degree assault to be expunged after 18 months' probation.

Resnick, 67, made an Alford plea, which allowed him to avoid pleading guilty while conceding that Deputy State's Attorney Howard Merker had enough evidence to convict him.

Boone called Resnick's actions against his neighbors, Arthur E. and Mary H. Allinson, "outrageous," adding that he was "appalled by the conduct of people who live in such a luxurious area of Baltimore County," a reference to Resnick.

In addition to giving Resnick probation, Boone noted that the caterer's actions were criminal and "childlike," and said, "I'm going to spank your pocketbook," fining him $1,000.

"If you can't get along with your neighbors, then leave them alone and wish them well," said the judge.

The assault occurred July 28 when the Allinsons were installing a fence on their property line in the 2700 block of Caves Road, which abuts the Resnick property at the 11000 block of Verdant Road.

According to a statement read by Merker, Resnick's grandson was driving an all-terrain vehicle near the property line and making rude remarks. Resnick appeared and began arguing with the Allinsons.

Resnick then drew a .38 caliber revolver from his pocket, pointed it at the Allinsons and said, "I will blow your kneecaps off," according to a police report.

At yesterday's hearing at Towson District Court, Resnick's lawyer, Paul Mark Sandler, called his client's actions during the assault an "aberration" and compared him to the kind-hearted character played by Jimmy Stewart in the movie "It's a Wonderful Life."

Sandler and lawyer G. Warren Mix submitted several letters to the judge from prominent citizens vouching for Resnick's character -- including Maryland Comptroller William Donald Schaefer and former Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services Bishop L. Robinson.

Nancy S. Grasmick, state superintendent of schools, spoke to the judge, detailing Resnick's "many acts of kindness" in adopting Baltimore County schools and bringing underprivileged children -- who called him "Uncle Marty" -- for free luncheons at his catering halls.

Pub Date: 5/20/99

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