City/county Digest

CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

December 15, 2005

Pilot transportation security test planned

Baltimore will participate with other cities in a three-day pilot security test aimed at improving safety measures in case of a specific threat, federal officials said yesterday.

Amtrak and the Maryland Area Rail Commuter system are working with the Transportation Security Administration on the test, which will begin tomorrow and run through Sunday, said Darrin Kayser, a spokesman for the federal agency.

"The goal is to deploy a variety of resources to be prepared in the event of a significant threat," Kayser said.

Federal air marshals, surface transportation inspectors and TSA canine teams will patrol Baltimore, as well as bus lines in Houston and mass transit systems in Los Angeles, Atlanta and Philadelphia.

"They will be providing an additional asset to what the local entities already have," Kayser said.

The patrol teams, overt and covert, will be fewer than 10 people, he said.

"TSA is doing a sweep on Friday at Penn Station," said Cheron Wicker, Maryland Transit Administration spokeswoman. "At this point we have not been asked to participate; however, we will be there as observers."

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Baltimore County: Essex

Rapist arrested after failing to register

A convicted rapist who had failed to register with the state as a sex offender was arrested yesterday, Baltimore County police said. Harold Lafayette Perry, 30, whose last known address was in the 1600 block of Browns Road in Essex, was arrested about 2 a.m. yesterday in the 500 block of Chalcot Square in Essex after police received a tip about his location, police said. Perry was convicted of a 1999 rape in Baltimore County, which led to the requirement that he register with the state sex offender registry, police said.

Baltimore County: Catonsville

Immigrant admits killing his wife

A refugee from Myanmar whose quest for asylum was chronicled by the Los Angeles Times is to be sentenced in March for killing his wife. Tialhei Zathang, 46, of Catonsville faces a maximum of 30 years in prison after pleading guilty this week to second-degree murder in the January fatal stabbing of his wife, Hlawntial Zathang. The refugee's 1998 flight from the Southeast Asian country of Myanmar - formerly known as Burma - was described in the Times, which reported that he had been persecuted because he was a practicing Christian and was involved in his country's pro-democracy movement. He won asylum in 2002 but it took two years to clear the way for his family to immigrate.

Jennifer McMenamin

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