Police search for Middle River man who eluded officers

July 02, 2000|By Nancy A. Youssef | Nancy A. Youssef,SUN STAFF

Baltimore County police continued to search yesterday for a 32-year-old Middle River man who eluded officers Thursday in the woods near the Baltimore County-Harford County line while under surveillance.

Initially, police used dogs and helicopters to search for Levi Woods, who is wanted in connection with parole violations. But by yesterday, police said they were making routine patrols of the area where he disappeared.

Police had obtained an arrest warrant for Woods in connection with parole violations stemming from the armed robbery of a bank on East Joppa Road in Towson in September 1995. Officials obtained it after discovering that Woods had not visited his probation officer for nearly two years, said Leonard A. Sipes Jr., spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services

Sipes said the department's director has ordered an investigation.

In January 1998, Woods was sentenced to a six-year suspended sentence for the robbery. He was also ordered to obtain a mental evaluation from the Walter P. Carter Center, a Baltimore mental health facility, and to stay in contact with a probation officer for two years, Sipes said.

Woods visited the Carter Center and until Sept. 3, 1998, met with his probation officer, Sipes said.

When Woods started missing appointments, the officer thought Woods had become a resident at the Carter Center, Sipes said.

Police began conducting surveillance Thursday morning outside Woods' home in the first block of Leland Ave. Woods walked out of the house, got into his car and headed north on Interstate 95, police said. Officers in marked cars followed him.

Woods abandoned his car on the left side of the interstate near the Harford County line, jumped over a barrier, ran across four lanes of traffic and disappeared into the woods, police said. Authorities closed the interstate for about 20 minutes while they searched for him. Woods has not been seen since.

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