Man found at Ripken home reportedly fled kidnappers

City man, 20, told officers his captors wanted money

November 29, 2003|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF

The three men who left a naked gunshot victim near Cal Ripken's house on Thanksgiving night likely didn't know they were in the former Oriole's neighborhood, Baltimore County police said yesterday.

The shooting victim, identified yesterday as 20-year-old Brian Holmes Robbins, told police he was kidnapped near his apartment in the 1100 block of St. Paul St. in downtown Baltimore and released in a field near Ripken's Worthington Valley home nine hours later.

Robbins, who was shot once in the back, ended up on Ripken's front porch, bleeding and yelling for help.

"It appears it was a just a coincidence that this happened there," said Officer Shawn Vinson, a county police spokesman.

Police believe the man's captors were trying to extort money from him, Vinson said. Robbins told police that as they were driving around, his kidnappers repeatedly asked him to call people he knew and ask for money, but they never received any, Vinson said.

Ripken called 911 twice - first about 9 p.m. to report a man banging on his door and then a few minutes later to report that the man appeared to have been shot. Officers found Robbins bleeding on Ripken's front porch.

The former Orioles shortstop released a statement yesterday through his spokesman, John Maroon, saying, "This was obviously an unusual and upsetting situation for me and my family, but I did what any other person would do given the circumstances. I called police who responded immediately and it's now in their hands."

Police said Robbins told them he was released in a field near Ripken's home, where he was told to strip naked and start running. Robbins heard several shots and was struck once in the back.

Although the driveway to Ripken's house is blocked by a tall black gate and peppered with security cameras, a field to the left of the house is surrounded only by a low white fence that runs to Dover Road.

Police said they found blood in a field near Ripken's home on the west side of Dover, near Tufton Avenue, and followed it across the road, over a fence and onto Ripken's front porch.

Robbins was treated for the gunshot wound at Maryland Shock Trauma Center and released yesterday. He could not be reached for comment.

His mother, reached by phone at her Harford County home last night, said, "I can't really say anything about what happened. Thanks for understanding."

Police said Robbins was unable to provide detailed descriptions of his attackers or of the car he was first forced into in the city.

Later, at a farm, Robbins told police, he was forced into the trunk of a white Lexus before being allowed to sit in the back seat, Vinson said.

It is unclear how long Robbins was kept in the trunk or where he was driven during his nine hours of captivity.

Baltimore police are investigating whether a robbery report from St. Paul Place is connected to the alleged kidnapping.

City 911 dispatchers received an anonymous robbery report about 12:20 p.m. from the 1200 block of St. Paul Place, not far from Robbins' home, according to Officer Troy Harris, a city police spokesman.

The responding officers found no one reporting the crime or any sign of the incident, Harris said.

Sun staff writers Laurie Willis, Sara Neufeld, Julie Bell and Kimberly A.C. Wilson contributed to this article.

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