Man accused of threatening teens with gun

62-year-old is charged with assault, possession

Had weapon in car, officers say

Wilde Lake students run home, call police

Columbia

September 28, 2004|By Sandy Alexander | Sandy Alexander,SUN STAFF

Howard County police arrested a man at Wilde Lake High School yesterday morning and accused him of threatening two teenagers with a handgun and bringing the gun onto the school parking lot as students were arriving for classes.

Edward Brown, 62, of Jason Lane in Columbia was charged with first-degree assault and possession of a gun on school property, police said.

Officers received a call about 7:10 a.m. from a person who heard a car alarm, looked out his window and saw a man with a gun get into a maroon Porsche on Jason Lane. Shortly after, police received a call from two students who said they were walking to school on Twin Rivers Road when a man in a maroon Porsche pointed a gun at them and accused them of "messing with his car." The boys ran to one of their homes and called police.

Officers found the man sitting in a car of the same description on the Wilde Lake High School parking lot. Officers said the man admitted he had a gun in the car.

A school employee told officers that shortly before they arrived two female students had complained about a man who made threatening remarks as they approached school grounds.

Court records show Brown was charged in 1999 with arson threat and giving false statements to police. The Sun reported at the time that Brown called police and told them there were bombs under the George Howard Building, the Ellicott City building that houses the county executive and other county government offices. When police arrived at his home, he said he had more bombs, leading to a three-hour standoff that ended with his peaceful surrender.

Charges of giving a false statement about a destructive device and giving a false statement to an official were dropped. Brown was also charged with two counts of arson threat, but the disposition of those charges was unavailable last night.

School spokeswoman Patti Caplan said she knew of no connection between Brown and the school.

"It is just a testimony to the people involved how quickly this whole thing got handled," Caplan said.

She said Principal Restia Whitaker made an announcement to students about the incident and also notified families by e-mail and a letter sent home with students.

Police are investigating yesterday's incident. Brown was in custody yesterday afternoon awaiting a hearing.

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