Dietrich gets back to business at hand

With Palczynski in past, he's up for tonight's bout

April 26, 2000|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Amateur heavyweight boxer Mike Dietrich, 16, is still recovering from the effects of last month's manhunt of Joseph Palczynski.

Dietrich's Dundalk home is two doors from the house in which Palczynski held three people hostage for four days before Baltimore County tactical police burst through a window and shot Palczynski to death.

Tonight at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie, Dietrich, a four-time amateur national champ and a Patapsco High School junior, will try to put aside the month's harrowing events as he goes after his 13th knockout and 18th win without a loss.

Dietrich will fight Mark Basstille (35-10) of Johnstown, Pa.

"It's been crazy," Dietrich said. "I've never been through anything like it before."

Dietrich said police on stakeout in his home shot and killed the family's 1 1/2-year-old dog, a boxer named Jake. Police said the dog's barking threatened to compromise their location. Dietrich, who was staying with his sister on nearby Berkshire Road, said he didn't understand why police didn't tranquilize the dog instead.

Bill Toohey, Baltimore County Police spokesman, said police went into Dietrich's home on Lange Street on March 17, the first night of the standoff. He said Palczynski was "shooting into the street," and one of three dogs in the house "was barking very noisily at an officer in the house. The officer was concerned about the dog giving away his position or that he was going to be bitten and called for options. He was given permission to shoot the dog," Toohey said. "No one feels good about shooting a family dog, but we felt we had no other options."

Police also wrote in ink on a wall inside, outlining strategies and a plan of attack, "like Team One goes here, and Team Two goes there," Dietrich said. "They tracked mud all over my brand-new carpet, drilled holes in the wall, ripped off my screen door and busted my phone in half.

Palczynski apparently fired three bullets at Dietrich's 1989 IROC Z-28. Dietrich purchased the car a week after earning his driver's license.

Tickets for tonight's fight, which are $20, can be obtained by callingthe Brooklyn Boxing Club at 410-354-9360.

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