Annapolis police seeking 3 men in stun gun attack

Four teens forced to strip, robbed of money and car after asking for directions

October 04, 2003|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF

Annapolis police said yesterday they were searching for three men who allegedly used a stun gun to intimidate a group of lost Arnold teen-agers into taking off their clothing and surrendering their wallets and car Thursday morning.

Officer Hal Dalton, a police spokesman, called the crime a "very unusual" one that presented an awkward problem for the victims.

"If a naked person runs up to a citizen to ask for help, what's the citizen going to think?" he asked. Several residents called 911 after the 2:30 a.m. incident to report naked males wandering the streets. Officers found three of them on Main Street near Church Circle -- near the State House -- and one of them several hours later at West and Calvert streets.

One teen-ager discovered on West Street had been using a scrap of cardboard to cover himself, police said.

The victims -- ages 16, 17, 18 and 19 -- told police they had been trying to drive to Eastport in their 1974 Dodge Dart when they got lost at Clay Street and College Creek Terrace, an area of Annapolis with a reputation for drug activity and violence.

When they pulled over to ask for directions, they told police, three men armed with handguns and a stun gun walked over and demanded their wallets. They complied.

Then the gunmen told them to get out of the car, strip and run away, which they did. As they were undressing, the men used the stun gun to repeatedly shock them, the teens told police.

Officers found their clothing shortly after finding the victims. Their car was recovered late Thursday outside a residence on Obery Court.

Although Dalton said it wasn't common, police occasionally encounter criminals who ask their victims to disrobe as a way of delaying police response.

Besides having trouble approaching people for help, Dalton said, the victims often focus first on their modesty before calling 911.

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