Week In Review

July 23, 2006

Parole

Gas station owner sues to keep road

A gas station owner has sued the developer of the $400 million Annapolis Towne Centre at Parole in an effort to stop the closing of a service road that loops behind his property.

Attorneys for Marc Bowen, owner of Marc Bowen Quality Service, filed a $25 million lawsuit Wednesday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, alleging breach of contract, trespass and nuisance.

Bowen is seeking a judgment to stop the developer from closing off the road in October.

A hearing is scheduled for Aug. 3.

Greenberg Gibbons Commercial Corp. of Owings Mills is the developer of the former Parole Plaza site.

Bowen and attorney Molly Tardivo declined to comment on the case last week.

In court documents, Bowen said the developer's decision to block a service road behind his property in May cut "necessary and reasonable access to the gasoline station," hurting his business, which includes repair and towing services.

Maryland section, Friday

Crofton

Parents file suit after son drowns

The parents of a 5-year-old boy who drowned at the Crofton Country Club have filed a $20 million wrongful-death lawsuit, alleging that the country club and a pool service management company it hired failed to properly train employees and adequately staff the swimming pool.

The complaint, filed in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, says there was one lifeguard at the pool June 22 when Conner Freed, 5, entered the water and drowned. The suit alleges that the lifeguard was not properly trained and "froze" when an unidentified woman at the pool noticed the boy floating face-down in the water.

On a tape of a 911 call from the incident, the dispatcher asks whether there is a defibrillator available, and the caller, a lifeguard at the pool, says: "We're not allowed to use it. ... None of the staff is allowed to use it." The dispatcher repeatedly asked whether the boy's chest was moving up and down while cardiopulmonary resuscitation was administered. The answer was no.

Wayne Rohauer, general manager of the country club, said he has met with Thomas Freed and Debra Neagle Webber, the boy's parents, but he declined to discuss the lawsuit. "Based on the ongoing investigation and the sensitively of it, I cannot comment at the point," he said.

Maryland section, Friday

Arnold

Teen held in arson, ax attack on aunt

An Arnold teenager was arrested Tuesday and charged with attacking his aunt with an ax and setting her house on fire, endangering four occupants, Anne Arundel County police said.

Deontray Lorenzo Neal, 17, of the 800 block of Mago Vista Road was charged as an adult with attempted murder, arson and other charges. He was being held in the Anne Arundel County Detention Center.

According to accounts provided by county police and fire officials, Neal used an accelerant to set a fire in his aunt's kitchen, living room and dining room and then used an ax to strike his aunt in the legs and stomach.

The victim, Giselle Goodrum, 50, fled to a neighbor's home, but the teenager attempted to enter that house by breaking glass windows and damaging the front door, police said.

Police found Goodrum in the front yard. She was treated at a hospital for injuries considered not life-threatening.

Three other people who live with Goodrum were treated at Anne Arundel Medical Center for smoke inhalation, police said. It took county firefighters 20 minutes to put out the blaze.

Neal had been living with his aunt, police said. Court records show that she was his legal guardian. Neal turns 18 next month.

Maryland section, Wednesday

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