Brothers' supporters oppose charges

Would-be robber killed when men guarded plant

March 26, 2001|By Eric Siegel | Eric Siegel,SUN STAFF

About 75 relatives, friends and employees rallied yesterday in support of two brothers apparently involved in the fatal shooting of a man attempting to burglarize their Glyndon concrete plant.

Many of those gathered at Back River Recreation Center in Essex - across the street from the original site of the plant and not far from where Matthew J. Geckle and Dominic A. "Tony" Geckle grew up - said they were worried the brother who is thought to have fired the gun could face criminal charges.

They also said they wanted to counter unflattering media images of the brothers, particularly on local talk-radio shows.

"Matt and Tony Geckle are loved by many in the community, and their lives have touched many people, as you can see by the support here ... ," said Greg Simmons, an uncle of the brothers.

"Let's not forget who the real victims are," he added. "They never went looking for trouble."

Early March 19, a 24-year-old Baltimore man was shot and killed and two Baltimore County men were wounded in what county police said was an attempted burglary of Back River Supply Inc. in the 12200 block of Owings Mills Blvd.

Police said the Geckle brothers were guarding the plant with shotguns after it was burglarized March 17 and 18.

On Saturday, police said they had charged the two wounded men in the three break-ins at the plant, in which power tools and a rifle were stolen.

Last week, the attorney for one of the injured men criticized county prosecutors for not filing criminal charges against Dominic Geckle, identified in court documents as the man who fired at the intruders.

Assistant State's Attorney S. Ann Brobst said last week that she would likely ask a grand jury to determine whether criminal charges were appropriate.

At yesterday's rally, relatives described Dominic Geckle, 31, as a four-year veteran of the Marine Corps who served in the gulf war and is engaged to be married in November.

Neither of the brothers attended the rally. Their mother, Nancy Marks, attended but declined to comment.

Supporters said Dominic and Matthew Geckle, 36, worked to maintain the business after their father died of a heart attack several years ago.

"These guys aren't the gunslingers people make them out to be," said Patty Cox, 38, a former truck driver for the company.

"They would give anybody a chance."

Vicki Nowak, 40, said she wants to help make sure the brothers aren't unfairly prosecuted.

"They defended what was theirs," she said. "I'd do the same thing they did. What they did was perfectly right."

Mary Daniels, 41, who said she has known the Geckle brothers for 20 years, said: "Whether they're at home or at their business, they have the right to protect their property."

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