Shooting near bar angers neighbors

Residents seek crackdown on Harford Road business

August 11, 2002|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,SUN STAFF

A triple shooting near a Harford Road bar early yesterday has residents upset and calling for a city crackdown on what they say has become a chronic nuisance.

David Desmarais, president of the Moravia-Walther Community Association, said he was awakened by the commotion and went outside to find a dozen police cars and ambulances a few hundred yards from his home, near the Cameo Lounge in the 4700 block of Harford Road.

Desmarais said it is the second incident involving gunfire near the bar since April, and tops a list of neighbors' complains about patrons littering, urinating and noisily moving through the nearby residential streets after closing time.

"There were 200 people on the streets" after yesterday's shootings, he said, adding that 18 bullet casings were found after the April incident in which no one was hurt.

"We're a nice, safe, quiet, integrated neighborhood. This establishment doesn't belong anywhere, but it's not a good fit here," he said. The community is hoping for help from the city liquor board, and the area's best-known resident - Mayor Martin O'Malley, who lives eight blocks away.

Police said three men were shot - none fatally - after leaving a dance in the bar's basement catering hall about 1:40 a.m. The shooting occurred a block away, in the 2900 block of List Ave., near Cold Spring Lane.

The men, Larry Foote, 31, of the 700 block of McKewin Ave.; Anthony Thomas, 21, of the 1200 block of Bonaparte Ave.; and Percy Bowels, 28, of the 5000 block of Midwood Ave., told police they got into an argument with a man after leaving the dance, and he pulled a gun and started firing.

Foote was hit in the jaw, Thomas in the pelvis, and Bowels in the left leg, police spokeswoman Nicole Monroe said. Foote was in critical condition yesterday at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where Bowles was treated and released. Police did not say where Thomas was treated.

Damon Carter, who identified himself as one of four owners of the bar, called the neighborhood leader's accusations unfair last night, and denied that the men had been in his establishment before the shooting .

"I can't control people outside," he said. "It had nothing to do with this place."

Lonzo LaViscount, a three-year Cameo employee, said earlier that about 300 people had attended the dance, but also noted that the shooting happened a block away.

He said that Carter took over as new owner one week ago, and he defended the bar's operation. It has security, and employees clean trash in the neighborhood each morning, LaViscount said, adding that Carter "is trying to comply with everything the liquor board has said."

Sun staff writer Sandy Alexander contributed this article.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.