News from around the Baltimore region

June 03, 2005


In buying back guns, police run low on cash

The Baltimore Police Department's $100,000 gun buyback program slowed down yesterday as several districts ran out of cash, but a top official promised to replenish funds throughout the city today.

In two days, officers have spent $45,900 to purchase 544 firearms. Most were collected Wednesday, when residents brought a flood of guns to the nine districts the first day of the department's initiative.

"It was a little slow" yesterday, said Deputy Police Commissioner Marcus Brown. Today, "all the districts will be fully funded."

That will be welcome news to Tylden Streett. The North Baltimore man attempted to sell an old shotgun he found in his closet to the Police Department's Northern District, but officers told him they had no more money.

The police are paying cash for guns until June 15 - offering $50 for rifles and shotguns, $100 for handguns and $200 for assault weapons. Sellers are given anonymity. The money comes from funds generated by cash and property seized from drug dealers.

Brown said the statistics prove that the program is removing the most dangerous guns from city streets. Of the guns bought, 353 are handguns, 185 are long guns and six are assault weapons. (Police also collected 10 BB guns, for disposal only.)

- Doug Donovan


Man, 30, is fatally shot after leaving Remington bar

A 30-year-old man was fatally shot early yesterday, shortly after leaving a tavern in Baltimore's Remington neighborhood with his girlfriend, city police said.

The victim, Samuel Richardson, was walking with his companion near the Rendezvous Bar in the 400 block of W. 26th St. about 2:30 a.m. when a man stepped from a vehicle and shot him multiple times, police said. Richardson, of the 2600 block of Hampden Ave., was pronounced dead in the emergency room at Johns Hopkins Hospital at 3:03 a.m., police said.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call homicide Detective Robert Cherry at 410-396-2100.

- Richard Irwin


Dunbar High alumni to share concerns with school officials

City schools chief Bonnie S. Copeland and state schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick agreed yesterday to meet next week with a group of Dunbar High School alumni concerned about the direction of the school.

Bishop Douglas I. Miles of the Koinonia Baptist Church, a member of the Dunbar Advisory Committee, said the group fears the high school's focus is shifting away from preparing students for college and toward preparing them for careers right out of high school.

At a news conference yesterday morning, the advisory group asked for school officials to include its members in planning for Dunbar's future, according to Miles, a 1966 Dunbar graduate. Other goals of the group are to ensure Dunbar receives $54 million for renovations; guarantee a quicker completion date for the renovations; increase the school's enrollment; and ensure the curriculum remains focused on college preparatory classes.


Montgomery Co. to review fatal shooting by police rookie

At the request of Anne Arundel County, the Montgomery County state's attorney's office will review the May 24 fatal shooting by a rookie police officer of a naked, unarmed man in Glen Burnie.

Kristin Riggin, a spokeswoman for the Anne Arundel County prosecutor's office, said the request was made because "there are too many factors which lead to the possibility of a conflict of interest" for Anne Arundel prosecutors to be involved.

The mother of Tommy Pleasant, the police officer, is Sgt. Kathy Pleasant, a longtime member of the department who has worked closely with prosecutors.

Donald E. Coates, 20, of Glen Burnie was shot as he reportedly charged toward the officer, who had responded to reports that Coates had used drugs, was armed, and had fired a gun inside the townhouse he shared with his girlfriend and others. Officer Pleasant was placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.

- Andrea F. Siegel


Police investigate reported rape near Hickey School

Baltimore County police are investigating a report that a female relative of an employee of the Charles H. Hickey Jr. School was raped earlier this week near the juvenile facility, police said yesterday.

Another employee at the school has been placed on administrative leave until the police investigation is completed, according to LaWanda Edwards, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Juvenile Services. Police said yesterday that no charges had been filed in the case.

The employee placed on leave is a group leader who had regular contact with children placed at the school, Edwards said.

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