School athlete leaves hospital

Several assailants attack, rob boy, 17, on street Saturday

Oakland Mills soccer goalie

Columbia

November 14, 2001|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF

Oakland Mills High School soccer goalkeeper Sean McElroy, who was assaulted and robbed Saturday night near Snowden Square, was released from Howard County General Hospital yesterday after being treated for face and head injuries.

"This has been a tragic incident, but we're very grateful that it was not worse or fatal," his mother, Dianne McElroy, said yesterday afternoon. "It's a healing process right now, and he's doing as well as can be expected."

The 17-year-old was walking in the 7100 block of Columbia Gateway Drive about 11:30 p.m. Saturday when a group of males assaulted him and robbed him of cash and his cellular phone, county police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said.

Llewellyn said no other information was available. Police have made no arrests, she said.

"This is not something we see frequently in the county," Llewellyn said. "We are concerned and working actively to close the case."

She said that a group attacking one person is not a common type of robbery in the county.

Robberies - the commercial and street variety - decreased in Howard from 240 in 1999 to 166 last year.

Columbia Gateway Drive is not in a specific Columbia village, but the number of robberies in nearby Long Reach and Owen Brown villages have fluctuated in the past few years. Long Reach had 10 in 1999 and 18 last year, and Owen Brown had 24 in 1999 and 10 last year.

Dianne McElroy said she was overwhelmed by the community's support. The family has received cards, food and moral support, she said.

"It's just been outstanding," she said. "All of the kids at school have encouraged Sean and helped him find ways to be strong."

The Oakland Mills Scorpions play Pocomoke in the state championships Saturday, and if Sean, a senior, is unable to play, sophomore Dan Rogers will take his place, coach Don Shea said.

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