Police arrest man wanted in attempted-murder case

He's accused of shooting at another motorist

April 21, 2002|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF

An 18-year-old accused of trying to kill a 43-year-old acquaintance April 12 has been arrested in Ellicott City, Howard County police said.

Officers found Andrew L. Papathakis of the 5000 block of Avoca Lane in Ellicott City at a residence in the 3500 block of Court House Drive late Wednesday, police said.

Police said Papathakis fired a shot at Robert Allen Whichard after aggressively following him as the two drove near Routes 103 and 104.

FOR THE RECORD - An article in Sunday's Howard County edition of The Sun incorrectly identified the person named as an attempted murder victim April 12. Police identified the man as Robert Allen Whichard of Ellicott City, but he is actually Robert Allen Whichard Jr., 18, of the same address. The Sun regrets the error.

The two had been friends, according to court documents, but Papathakis had recently accused Whichard of "stealing a large amount of money" from him.

Whichard told police he narrowly dodged a bullet fired through the rear window of his 1996 Chevrolet truck after he had turned onto Elko Drive in Ellicott City, court documents state.

The bullet missed Whichard's head and continued out the open driver's-side window in the truck, court documents state.

Papathakis has been charged with attempted first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment, according to court documents.

Police issued a warrant for his arrest April 13, but Papathakis was missing until Wednesday night when police found him in a Venus Garden apartment in Ellicott City.

While searching the apartment, detectives found a trash bag with several pounds of suspected marijuana and substances they believe to be opium and Ecstasy, according to court documents.

Papathakis faces numerous drug charges in addition to the attempted-murder charges. No court date has been set.

Shortly after his arrest, authorities took Papathakis to Howard County General Hospital and then to Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center in Jessup, where he is being held under observation because police feared he might harm himself, said Howard County Detention Center Director Melanie C. Pereira.

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