Infamous limo to star in parade

Appeal: Service's owner says the vehicle rented by Ray Lewis is by far the most popular.

May 03, 2000|By Scott Calvert | Scott Calvert,SUN STAFF

The knife, bloodstains and bullet holes might be gone, but curiosity seekers can get a peek Sunday inside the 37-foot limousine that Baltimore Ravens star Ray Lewis was renting the night of a double killing on the streets of Atlanta.

The sleek, black Lincoln Navigator will be on display at the Ferndale Day 2000 parade in northern Anne Arundel County, with parade staples such as siren-blaring antique firetrucks, waving politicians and marching clowns.

Prosecutors allege that Lewis killed two men Super Bowl weekend, and that the Navigator contained blood of one victim and bullet holes. Lewis and two other men have been charged with first-degree murder. All three have pleaded innocent. Parade organizer Michael J. Wagner, a former state senator who owns Michael's Eighth Avenue banquet hall in Glen Burnie, said the Navigator is not too morbid for a community parade.

"I don't have signs saying, `See the Navigator' " Ray Lewis rode in, he said. "I'm not even going there. I am certainly not trying to exploit this thing to help the parade."

Since Lewis was charged in the killings, the Navigator has been in demand at All Stretched Out Limousine Service in Linthicum.

"If you want it in May, you can't get it," said limo service owner Tony Toskov. "There might be one Monday night or Tuesday night [available], but if it's Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday, you ain't getting it."

The super-stretch SUV, which seats 14 and has multiple televisions and a Nintendo set, rents for $1,500 for eight hours. It's being snapped up for weddings and proms, Toskov said, and is by far the most popular.

Parade officials lucked out with their timing. The limo is due back in Atlanta in about three weeks for Lewis' trial. Prosecutors want jurors to get a look at the vehicle.

The Navigator fits the car theme of this year's parade, which begins at noon. About 100 vintage models -- including a 1919 Model T and a bevy of '57 Chevys -- will start at North County High School, head down Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard and then Broadview Boulevard, winding up on Third Avenue.

A friend of Wagner's had suggested that he also line up a limo. Because his banquet hall refers customers to All Stretched Out, he called to see what he could arrange. When the Navigator was offered, Wagner said he replied, "Why not, it's the most famous car you got."

After the parade, the Navigator will be parked with other cars at the Third Avenue Field, where the public can have a look under hoods and rev the engines.

People will have to use their imaginations about that night in Atlanta: Bullet holes and bloodstains were cleaned up months ago.

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