Man held in beating of flagman

Description of pickup leads police to suspect

April 01, 2001|By Johnathon E. Briggs | Johnathon E. Briggs,SUN STAFF

An Annapolis man with a history of convictions on battery and assault charges was being held on $100,000 bail yesterday, charged with first-degree assault in the beating of a 48-year-old flagman after being stopped in traffic at a roadway work site.

Majestic John Gough III, 33, of the 200 block of Victor Parkway, was arrested in Annapolis on Friday after what city police described as a stroke of luck - finding a pickup truck matching the description of the vehicle driven by the attacker in the March 22 incident at Bay Ridge and Edgewater roads.

The flagman, Kerry Shaw, had temporarily blocked traffic at the intersection as co-workers were repairing a sewer line. The driver of a black Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck, in an apparent act of road rage, got out and punched Shaw in the face. With Shaw on the ground, the man kicked him repeatedly in the face, got back in the vehicle and fled, according to the victim and police.

Annapolis detectives were canvassing the area of the assault Friday morning when they spotted a pickup truck that fit the description parked at a yacht yard. Detectives contacted the vehicle's registered owner, who told them that Gough had been using the truck at the time of the assault, police said.

Police did not release the vehicle owner's name and said they did not know the suspect's relationship to the owner.

The detectives found Gough walking in the area of Yachtsman Way near Edgewood Road, less than a mile from his home. Police said he fit a description of the suspect, including a gold tooth. Gough was taken to Annapolis police headquarters for questioning and was arrested.

"It happened all of a sudden. We just got lucky," said Annapolis police spokesman Eric Crane. "The detectives were out there. What are the chances of finding a vehicle that matches that description? Everything just fell into place."

In a 1995 case, Gough was found guilty of battery against an Annapolis woman and ordered to attend a batterers' group-counseling program at a local YWCA, court records show. In November 1999, Gough was found guilty of second-degree assault against another woman and ordered to complete a domestic violence program.

Shaw, who will have to undergo extensive surgery to repair broken bones and severe facial lacerations, reserved comment on the case until detectives contact him.

"I haven't talked to the police since they caught him, so I'm going to keep quiet and let them do their job," Shaw said. "I want to give the benefit of the doubt."

Staff writer Brenda Buote contributed to this article.

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