Crime Watch


November 12, 2005

Man arrested in Fla. in Balto. Co. killing

A 33-year-old Baltimore County man was arrested in Florida yesterday in the September killing of his neighbor, whose body was found in the bathtub of her burning apartment, police said.

Ellis Lee Hickman Jr. was arrested after he was found hiding in a trash bin near his sister's home in Pahokee, Fla., police said. He is charged with the first-degree murder of Rakiyya T. States, 29, who lived in the same building as Hickman in the first block of Mopec Circle, just over the city line in the Overlea area.

Firefighters found States dead in her bathtub Sept. 25. She died of suffocation and blunt-force and sharp-force trauma, according to Baltimore County District Court charging documents. Tests showed that she was dead before her apartment was set on fire.

The day States was killed, Hickman called his brother and asked him to buy a gallon of gas and bring it to the apartment building, the court record states. Hickman wanted his brother to take the gas to an upstairs apartment and set it on fire, but the brother refused, gave Hickman the gas and left, according to the court documents.

An investigation revealed that gasoline was used to start the fire, police said.

On Nov. 8, a warrant was issued for Hickman's arrest and Baltimore County police notified the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. Hickman was being held there pending extradition to Maryland.



Two injured, one killed in morning accident

A sport utility vehicle driven by an off-duty Baltimore police officer and a Maryland Transit Administration shuttle collided early yesterday at an East Baltimore intersection, killing a female passenger on the minibus, police said.

The accident occurred about 5:40 a.m. at East 28th Street and Greenmount Avenue. The officer, James Smith, was traveling south on Greenmount in an Isuzu Trooper when it hit the Mobility shuttle bus, police said.

The woman who was killed was identified as Joanne Washington, 54, of the 4000 block of Eldorado Ave., who was being taken to a hospital for kidney dialysis treatment. Police said she was thrown from her seat and pronounced dead at the scene.

Smith was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was treated for head, back and shoulder injuries. The driver of the bus was treated for injuries and released from the hospital. Police did not release his name because of the investigation.

Agent Donny Moses, a police spokesman, said that a portion of the accident was caught on video from a police surveillance camera set up at the intersection. He said investigators were reviewing the footage, but have not determined who was at fault.

Gus G. Sentementes

Report of gunman leads 2 schools to lock doors

Two Towson schools were briefly locked down yesterday while Baltimore County police investigated a report that a person with a gun was seen near Loch Raven High, according to police.

The increased security measures were lifted about 10 a.m. after officers checked the area around Loch Raven High and the private Baltimore Lutheran High School and found nothing suspicious, police spokesman Cpl. Michael Hill said.

School officials said a parent called Baltimore Lutheran School officials after seeing a television report of a gunman near Loch Raven High School. Baltimore Lutheran School officials said they immediately locked down the school and called Loch Raven High, where officials did the same. The increased security measures at the schools were in effect for about 45 minutes.

Nick Shields

Pa. man killed by bull in Washington County

A man was killed by a bull that trampled or gored him, Washington County sheriff's deputies say.

A neighbor found Henry H. Moyer, 59, of Greencastle, Pa., lying injured Wednesday afternoon with the bull standing over him on Moyer family property near Leitersburg, Lt. Travers Ruppert said.

"The bull had him pinned," Ruppert said.

He said the neighbor drove the bull away by striking it with a pitchfork and then shooting it, wounding the animal. Moyer's family members then fired more shots, killing the bull, Ruppert said.

Associated Press

Vets celebrate defeat of plan to rename street

Local war veterans celebrated victory yesterday over a plan to rename Memorial Boulevard for baseball great Willie Mays, who made his minor-league debut in Hagerstown 55 years ago.

At a Veterans Day ceremony near Municipal Stadium, vets joined city officials in unveiling a monument to slain warriors. They also rededicated the street to veterans, repudiating former Mayor William M. Breichner's attempt last spring to rename it Willie Mays Way. Veterans' opposition to the plan became a racially charged issue that contributed to Breichner's defeat in May.

Local AMVETS Commander Rusty Baker drew cheers and applause for likening the dispute to wars in which U.S. veterans fought for what they thought was right.

Mays has written that he endured racial jeers while playing in Hagerstown.

Breichner, a Navy veteran, didn't attend the ceremony, but said he'd still like to see some permanent recognition of Mays' contribution to the city's history.

Associated Press

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