Crime Watch

CRIME WATCH

January 24, 2007

Man held in officer's death is denied bail

The man charged with killing an off-duty Baltimore police officer during a robbery attempt was ordered held without bail yesterday.

Brandon Grimes, 21, charged with first-degree murder, was taken into the District Court at Central Booking and Intake Center in a wheelchair for a brief hearing before District Judge Nathan Braverman.

He had been wounded in the leg during what police described as a shootout with Detective Troy L. Chesley Sr., who was fatally wounded Jan. 9 outside his girlfriend's home on West Forest Park Avenue.

According to the court file, the suspect is being treated at the Maryland Penitentiary Hospital in the state prison complex on East Eager Street.

Gus G. Sentementes

Girl held in attack on student

A 15-year-old girl was subdued with pepper spray yesterday after she attacked a student in the hallway of a West Baltimore middle school and fought with a school police officer, city school officials reported.

The incident occurred about 9:20 a.m., as students were changing classes at William H. Lemmel Middle School at 2801 N. Dukeland St.

The city schools' police chief, Antonio Williams, said the girl was not enrolled in the school system and had run away from a youth facility or group home.

He said a school police officer caught the girl trespassing in the building and escorted her outside, but she returned and attacked a student.

Williams said an officer broke up the fight but was attacked by the girl and resorted to the use of pepper spray, a chemical agent that irritates the eyes and skin and causes coughing.

The girl was arrested and taken to the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center, according to Vanessa Pyatt, a school system spokeswoman. Her name was not released because she is a juvenile.

After the incident, Mary Hood, the grandmother of a 13-year-old seventh grader at Lemmel, said that her granddaughter was one of several students who vomited after being exposed to the pepper spray. Hood questioned the use of pepper spray in a school building.

Sara Neufeld and Gus G. Sentementes

Officer shot; 50 years imposed

A man convicted of shooting an off-duty Baltimore police officer during a robbery attempt 1 1/2 years ago was sentenced yesterday to 50 years in prison, the city state's attorney's office said.

Reginald McKever, 21, shot Officer Kevin Simmons in the foot July 18, 2005, in the 5300 block of Goodnow Road in Northeast Baltimore.

Simmons had been sitting on a split-rail fence talking on his cell phone when McKever and another man approached, pointed a gun at him, and said, "Kick it out," prosecutors said.

Simmons, who was in civilian clothes but had his department issued handgun with him, ran and was shot once in the foot. McKever was arrested; the other man has not been identified.

McKever was convicted in November of attempted first-degree murder, use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence and attempted robbery with a deadly weapon.

Circuit Judge Allen L. Schwait sentenced McKever to 20 years on the weapons charge and 30 years on the attempted murder charge, with the terms running consecutively, according to city prosecutors.

Man fatally shot during fight

An unidentified man was fatally shot last night during a fight with at least one other man outside an apartment at the McCulloh Homes complex in West Baltimore -- the city's 22nd homicide in the first 23 days of this year, police said.

Central District officers responding to reported gunfire in the 500 block of W. Preston St. about 8 p.m. found the victim on the pavement at the end of a row of two-story residences. Nearby were a baseball cap and red jacket, believed to be the victim's, police said.

The man died at Maryland Shock Trauma Center shortly before 9 p.m., police said.

Metro Crime Stoppers, 410-276-8888, is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment in the killing.

Richard Irwin

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