Suspect eludes police after assault

Search for Monkton man puts area schools on alert

September 28, 2004|By Lisa Goldberg and Sara Neufeld | Lisa Goldberg and Sara Neufeld,SUN STAFF

Baltimore County police were searching yesterday for a man who they say threatened his ex-girlfriend twice on Saturday, once with a knife and once with a shotgun, and fled from officers who later tracked him to his Monkton home.

The search for Larry Duane Thomas, 41, led four northern county schools to be placed on alert yesterday and prompted recreation officials to move a youth soccer game to an elementary school outside the immediate area.

At Hereford Middle School and Prettyboy, Seventh District and Fifth District elementary schools, recess and physical education classes were held indoors, and at those schools that did not have locked entrances the front doors were closely monitored, school officials said.

"We just thought it would be a wise thing to do because we dont know if this person has been apprehended," said Carolyn Grimsley, Prettyboys principal. "We always err on the side of protecting our children, so that's what we've done. ... There are many children in our school building who dont know that anything was different today."

The search for Thomas started early Saturday after two incidents nearly four hours apart in the White Hall area of the county, said Officer Shawn Vinson, a county police spokesman.

Police were called to the 19600 block of Burke Road just before 3:45 a.m. Saturday after Thomas' ex-girlfriend, Crystal Jones, 23, said he had threatened her with a knife, Vinson said.

Thomas had left the residence by the time officers arrived, but he returned just before 7:30 a.m., forced his way in through a back door and threatened Jones with a shotgun, the police spokesman said.

Jones ran out of the house, and her mother, Shirley Ann Wilson, 41, struggled with Thomas over the gun, Vinson said. During the struggle, a shot was fired, but no one was hit, he said.

Wilson ran outside and the two women flagged down a passing motorist who picked them up, Vinson said.

Officers later went to Thomas' home in the 17100 block of Big Falls Road in Monkton, but before they could surround the house, Thomas fled into the woods with the shotgun, Vinson said.

The gun was found near his house later Saturday, said Vinson, who would not elaborate. The spokesman said police do not know whether Thomas is still armed, but they believe he might have access to other weapons.

Except for one sighting by a neighbor about 1 p.m. Saturday, Thomas has not been seen since he fled his home, the police spokesman said.

A warrant has been issued charging Thomas with attempted first-degree murder, burglary and assault, Vinson said.

Police described Thomas as balding, with blue eyes and a fair complexion, 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing about 170 pounds. He was last seen wearing a red shirt, blue jeans and work boots.

Police are asking anyone with information to call 410-307-2020.

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