News from around the Baltimore region

June 18, 2005

Druid Hill pool opens today - a week early


Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks officials will open the Druid Hill Park pool today - a week before the official start of the city's 2005 summer swim season because of this past week's hot weather.

The Druid Hill pool will be open today and tomorrow from noon to 5 p.m., and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday through Friday. Cost is $1.50 per person.

The city's indoor swimming pools will be charging half price, or 50 cents, this coming week as part of the "Hot Summer Daze Pre-Season." Callowhill is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Chick Webb and Cherry Hill are open from noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

All of the city's other outdoor pools are scheduled to open June 25 at noon.


25 freed from Central Booking under court's 24-hour order

More than 25 suspects were released from Central Booking and Intake Center yesterday and Thursday as a result of a standing court order that requires arrestees receive a court hearing within 24 hours or be set free.

Since the court order went into affect in late April, about 70 people have been released, said spokeswoman Barbara Cooper of the Division of Pretrial Detention and Services.

State officials who run the downtown facility said they believed the recent releases were the result of increased arrests flooding their facility, but city police officials said officers were operating normally. Arrest data was not available yesterday.

Prosecutors said some of those released were facing felony counts, including drug, assault and domestic assault charges. Police will be notified of the releases and can decide whether to rearrest the suspects, said Margaret T. Burns, a spokeswoman for the city state's attorney's office.

Before the Circuit Court order, which was issued at the request of public defenders, some suspects were being held as long as four days without being formally charged. State law requires that suspects receive a court hearing within 24 hours of arrest. At times, the facility had nearly 100 people who were being unlawfully detained.

- Ryan Davis


City police detective injured in crash; suspect captured

A 24-year city police veteran was injured in a crash yesterday morning in Southwest Baltimore as she was traveling to pick up a witness for court.

Detective Martha Sprinkle of the Southwestern District was being treated yesterday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center for head injuries, broken ribs, a broken leg and pelvic injuries, said Officer Nicole Monroe, a police spokeswoman.

Sprinkle was driving east on Frederick Avenue in an unmarked police car about 10:30 a.m. when a westbound white Acura crossed into her lane and crashed into her car near Ellicott Driveway, Monroe said. Sprinkle's car flipped.

The suspect, whom police did not identify, ran from the crash, but was captured nearby. He was taken to Shock Trauma.

Police said they found crack cocaine and powdered cocaine inside the car. The car had been reported stolen.

- Ryan Davis


Police seek murder suspect, say victim's kin want revenge

Police are seeking a 17-year-old suspect in a May killing in West Baltimore, and they say they want to find him before the victim's family does.

"We believe that the family is looking for revenge," said Agent Donny Moses, a police spokesman. "We don't want anybody else to be hurt."

Detectives have obtained an arrest warrant for Christopher Nathan Porter on first-degree murder charges, Moses said. Porter has been charged with shooting 22-year-old Damon Antwon Aldridge, who was found dead May 15 in a parking lot at the Woodington Garden Apartments in the 100 block of Diener Place.

Police distributed leaflets there yesterday, as well as in three other places Porter is known to spend time - the 200 block of N. Payson St., the 2000 block of W. Lexington St. and the 900 block of Lenton Ave.

Porter is believed to be armed and dangerous, Moses said.

Metro Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $2,000 reward for information that leads to Porter's arrest. Anyone with information can call 410-276-8888.

- Ryan Davis


Police are seeking suspect in north-side robberies

Police are investigating at least seven armed robberies of stores recently that investigators believe are related.

Since April 4, a man wielding a knife or box cutter has taken money from stores on North Charles Street, St. Paul Street and W. 40th Street, police said. Most of the incidents occurred during the daytime; stores include St. Paul Cleaners and Giant Foods.

At least three robberies occurred in the past week, said Officer Nicole Monroe, a police spokeswoman.

The department's Northern District has bolstered patrols in the area. Police urged anyone with information to call detectives at 410-367-3105.

Council to pick successor to Harkins on July 5


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