Two men who were killed Tuesday when a Jeep Cherokee being pursued by police crashed into a small sport utility vehicle in Northwest Baltimore were identified yesterday by police.
Roy Bates, 78, and Joseph A. Thomas, 28, the occupants of the SUV, lived in an apartment building owned by Bates in the 4000 block of Eldorado Ave., also in Northwest Baltimore, according to members of Bates' family.
Bates' son, Wayne Fields, 34, said his father owned real estate and had been working as a security guard at a nursing home the past few years.
Family members said Bates had turned in his retirement papers hours before the accident, which occurred about 3:30 p.m.
Bates was born in Alabama, served in the Army during World War II and graduated from Morgan State University with a degree in agriculture, family members said.
According to police, the incident began when officers saw the Jeep run a stop sign at Granada and Belle avenues.
The officers activated their siren and flashing lights and followed the Jeep until it neared Forest Park High School, police said.
There, officers turned off the lights and siren because they did not want to panic students walking in the area, police said.
The Jeep then ran a stop sign at Belvieu and Eldorado avenues and crashed into Bates' Subaru, police said.
Police could not say yesterday how fast the Jeep and police car were going.
They said the police car was about 1 1/2 blocks away when the accident occurred.
Police identified the officers as David Green Jr., who has been on the force for two years, and Albert Lemon, a seven-year veteran.
Bates' family members and friends said they want more answers about the accident.
The police "could have just called the [license] tag in," said Warnick Graves, 52, a close friend of Bates. He said the police "know this could have been prevented."
The driver of the Jeep and a passenger have not been charged with driving violations, police said. But police said they found marijuana in the vehicle.
Police charged the Jeep's driver, Joseph Bannister Jr., 20, of the 800 block of Bradhurst Road in Northeast Baltimore, with possession of marijuana; and a 15-year- old passenger with possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
Bates' friends and family members said he was likely returning home when his car was hit by the Jeep.
"He was a good man," Graves said. "Sometimes he was too good for his own good. He really was a person who liked to give."