Man charged in crash with mayor had been wanted in assault case


January 30, 2007|By Annie Linskey

A 31-year-old man who police say hit the Baltimore mayor's vehicle over the weekend in a traffic mishap had an open warrant charging him with second-degree assault, but the driver was not arrested at the time of the accident because a computer was down.

Matt Jablow, a police spokesman, said the statewide warrant-check computer system was not working for two hours Sunday. Police cited the driver for two infractions and then let him go. Officers usually check people for outstanding warrants.

The driver, identified as Lamont Clifton Compton Randall of Edgecombe Circle in Northwest Baltimore, was charged with not having a license and failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident, police said. Last year, Randall was stopped twice in Baltimore County and cited both times for driving without a license and other charges, court records show. He could not be reached for comment yesterday, and he has not been arrested, police said.

Police said Randall was driving in West Baltimore's Walbrook neighborhood and was trying to make a right turn from Clifton Avenue onto Denison Street about 1:30 p.m.

Police said Randall, driving a 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier, was going too fast for conditions and skidded on a snowy road before striking the right front bumper of a city-owned 2004 Ford Expedition occupied by Mayor Sheila Dixon.

The sport utility vehicle was being driven by Stephen Coughlan, a city police officer assigned to the executive protection unit. The vehicle was stopped at the intersection when it was hit, and police said the mayor was wearing her seat belt. She was not injured.

"She was not shaken up at all," said Anthony McCarthy, her spokesman.

McCarthy said that the only damage was that some paint from the other car was transferred to the SUV.

Dixon had been at an event at the Church of the Redeemed of the Lord in the 4300 block of Old York Road and was on her way to see her son's basketball game when the accident occurred, McCarthy said.

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