Crime Watch

CRIME WATCH

March 02, 2007

City police account of shooting disputed

The police account of an incident in which a man was shot Wednesday afternoon by a plainclothes Baltimore officer was disputed last night by a cousin of the wounded man, who said he was there and that his relative did not grab for an officer's gun.

Police identified the shooting victim as Donnie Chestnut, 36, of the 4200 block of Springdale Ave. The cousin, Ira Samuel, and his lawyer said at a news conference last night that the man's name is Fenyanga Muhammad.

Samuel, 38, said he and his cousin were walking toward his car in the 1500 block of N. Gilmor St. about 3:30 p.m. when two men -- who they did not know were plainclothes officers -- approached and began swearing and asking what they were doing.

Samuel said one officer grabbed his cousin and began choking him, yelling, "Spit it out." He said the officer pushed him onto the ground and a second officer began beating him with a walkie-talkie. Samuel said the second officer then shot his cousin three times in the back.

"That version of events is entirely inconsistent with the testimony given to us by four different witnesses on the scene," said Matt Jablow, a Police Department spokesman.

Police have said Chestnut grabbed the officer's gun, prompting the second officer to shoot him. The officers were assigned to the area in response to complaints about drug dealing.

Granville Templeton III, who is representing Samuel, said he hopes to see whether the incident was recorded by a video surveillance camera posted at an adjacent building.

"From what we heard, there was no fight with the police," Templeton said. "He had no idea this was an officer. It's outrageous."

Muhammad was in stable condition last night at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, the lawyer and cousin said.

Nicole Fuller

Assailants sought in beating

Sheriff's deputies in Harford County were looking yesterday for a group of men who attacked a 17-year-old boy in the restroom of a McDonald's restaurant in Edgewood on Wednesday night, an incident that may have resulted in the stabbing of another teen.

The victim told deputies that he was using the restroom of the restaurant about 7:40 p.m. in the 2200 block of Pulaski Highway when he was attacked from behind by seven men, who punched and kicked him and smashed a beer bottle over his head, according to a sheriff's office report of the incident.

The fight moved from the restroom to the restaurant before the assailants fled. The victim was taken to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, where he was treated for injuries to his face and head, the report said.

A 16-year-old boy was admitted to the same hospital suffering from a stab wound, which deputies say may have been inflicted during the fight, said Sgt. Christina Presberry, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office.

Justin Fenton

Guilty plea in Medicaid fraud

A 49-year-old pharmacist pleaded guilty in Baltimore Circuit Court yesterday to felony Medicaid fraud charges, according to the Maryland attorney general's office.

Paul Ojewoye of the 3700 block of Sonara Road in Randallstown admitted submitting false mental health billings for at least $6,000 related to the now-defunct Calvary Healthcare Services Inc., a counseling company he owned. Investigators found more than 100 instances in which Ojewoye said he had provided services as a counselor to juvenile Medicaid recipients but had not provided any services, according to the attorney general's office.

Circuit Judge John M. Glynn sentenced Ojewoye to probation before judgment, ordering him to pay $6,000 in restitution and another $6,000 civil penalty.

Bank robber gets 14 years

A serial bank robber from Baltimore who held up a bank while he was on supervised release from an earlier conviction was sentenced yesterday to serve more than 14 years in federal prison.

Chief U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg said he was lengthening the sentence for Eric X. Clifton, 50, because Clifton was classified as a career criminal based on two previous convictions for bank robbery.

According to his guilty plea, Clifton robbed M&T Bank in the 8400 block of Pulaski Highway in Baltimore County on May 2.

Matthew Dolan

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