Man, 2 youths charged in robbery at school

Skateboard was stolen in Glen Burnie

police say pellet gun used in crime

August 19, 2005|By Annie Linskey and Liz Kay | Annie Linskey and Liz Kay,SUN STAFF

Anne Arundel County police have charged one man and two boys in connection with an armed robbery that occurred Tuesday night at Glen Burnie High School.

Damian A. Johnson, 18, of Glen Burnie has been charged with armed robbery, second-degree assault and related crimes, according to police.

Authorities said Johnson and the two juveniles stole a skateboard and tried to take other items from three boys who were playing at the school, police said. One of the suspects wielded what the boys thought was a handgun during the incident, though police later identified it as a pellet gun.

The design of the pellet gun gives it "the appearance of a real weapon," police said in a news release.

One juvenile suspect has been charged with felony robbery and assault. The third suspect was charged with misdemeanor theft, police said. Because of the two boys' status as juveniles, police did not release their names.

"We consider all armed robberies serious, and certainly one that occurs at a school after hours," said Lt. David D. Waltemeyer Jr., a spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Police Department. "Schools are a place for learning and for the community to gather for legitimate reasons, and anytime you have a crime occurring at a school it is a concern of the Police Department and the community."

Police gave this account of the incident: About 11:20 p.m. Tuesday, three boys were "skateboarding and hanging out" at the high school when a black car pulled up. One of the boys waved to the car to come over, and someone got out of the car to talk. An argument ensued.

The boys were pushed by the newcomers, one of whom showed the weapon. After stealing a skateboard, the assailants drove away.

Patrol officers from the county's northern police district were told to watch for the car, and Wednesday evening a patrolman spotted a car matching the description on Thomas Road in Glen Burnie. Police stopped the car for a minor traffic violation and found the skateboard and the toy gun in the car, police said. Three of the people in the car were identified as suspects in the robbery.

Trespassing on school property is illegal, but schools are open as late as 11 p.m. for college classes, meetings and other activities, said Mark Black, who is in charge of school system security.

Black said that school officials will act when they suspect a firearm is present to prevent harm, without stopping to consider whether it could be fake.

The juveniles were released to their parents. Johnson was still in jail as of yesterday afternoon.

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