City/county Digest

CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

February 24, 2006

Baltimore's ATF chief taking post in Washington

The top federal agent for investigating large-scale arsons and firearms violations in Maryland and Delaware has been promoted to a top training position in Washington.

Theresa Stoop, special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Baltimore field office, will leave her post within the next two months to become the bureau's deputy assistant director for training and professional development.

Stoop started her career 21 years ago in Atlanta and was part of the team of agents who started the Baltimore office in 1993.

In the past three years, she has overseen about 70 agents investigating such high-profile cases as the serial arsonist who started 45 fires in Maryland, Virginia and Washington that killed two people; the Charles County men who torched a predominantly African-American housing development; and the drug dealers who firebombed the home of a North Baltimore community activist.

"The only way we got those cases done is through great partnerships with other law enforcement," Stoop said yesterday. "I'm going miss this place a great deal."

No replacement for Stoop has been announced.

Matthew Dolan

Harford County: Bel Air

Motorcyclist's leg severed in accident

A Harford County motorcyclist's right leg was severed yesterday when he crashed into a guardrail while attempting to exit U.S. 1 near Bel Air, state police said. Pawel Kozakiewicz, 19, of the 100 block of Seevue Court at the Hickory Hills Condos in Bel Air, was riding a 2005 Kawasaki motorcycle north on U.S. 1 -- the Bel Air Bypass -- about 5:45 p.m. when he drove onto the exit ramp leading to southbound Route 24 at a high rate of speed. Police said the motorcyclist was sitting against the guardrail, conscious and talking, when police and medics arrived. He was reported in serious condition at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Richard Irwin

Baltimore: Tax assistance

Low-income filers offered free help

Free income-tax preparation and electronic filing of returns are being offered to low-income taxpayers by the nonprofit Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service. Clinics at its downtown offices at 1 N. Charles St., Suite 222, will be offered from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow and March 4. Volunteers also will be available next week on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, during day and early evening hours. The service is geared toward, but not limited to, those who qualify for the earned-income credit. Appointments are required and can be scheduled by calling 410-547-6537 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, or 9 a.m. to noon Fridays.

Cade Armory

Patriots Day ceremony Saturday

The 19th Annual African-American Patriots Day ceremony is set for tomorrow in Baltimore. The event -- which will recognize achievement in veteran affairs and community volunteerism -- is held by the African-American Patriots Consortium Inc. assisted by a grant from the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus Foundation. The activities are to begin at 11 a.m. at the Melvin Cade Armory, 2620 Winchester St., and a wreath-laying ceremony is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at the Monument to African-American Soldiers, adjacent to the Clarence Mitchell Jr. Courthouse.

Montgomery: Rockville

Father is indicted in day care shooting

The father of an 8-year-old boy who police said brought a gun to a day care center and shot another child was indicted yesterday in Montgomery County. John L. Hall Sr., 56, was indicted on one count of possession of a firearm as a convicted felon and one count of reckless endangerment, stemming from the Jan. 24 shooting in Germantown.

Associated Press

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