Trial set in hostage case


July 04, 2006|By BRENT JONES

A Baltimore District Court judge ruled yesterday that a 21-year-old Baltimore man who is accused of holding a police clerical worker hostage after his arrest on drug charges is competent to stand trial. Rodney Bethea is charged with assault with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment. His trial is to begin July 17.

According to court documents, Bethea, after his arrest on a marijuana possession charge April 13, tried to hang himself with a string inside an office in the Northeastern District station. Bethea then unscrewed a 3-foot light bulb from a fixture and struck an officer who was checking on him, the documents say.

Bethea fled the room and grabbed the female civilian worker, holding officers at bay with a pair of scissors, according to the documents. He was subdued hours later with a stun gun.

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