Howard police check possible link to fatal fight

March 02, 2007|By John-John Williams IV | John-John Williams IV,Sun reporter

Police are looking into a possible link between a melee at an Ellicott City high school that resulted in the beating death of an 18-year-old man and a fight five days earlier in which four teenagers were arrested.

Police have said that the fight early Saturday at Mount Hebron High School's football field, where Robert A. Brazell Jr. was fatally beaten with an aluminum baseball bat, was part of a feud.

In the earlier fight, four boys -- a 14-year-old from Columbia, a 16-year-old from Hanover, a 16-year-old from Clarksville and a 17-year-old from Jessup -- were arrested on second-degree assault charges at 1:45 a.m. Feb. 19 at Town and Country Boulevard near Rogers Avenue in Ellicott City, Howard County police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said yesterday.

That location is less than three miles from Mount Hebron High School, where the later attack occurred.

Several youths who knew Brazell, who was a former student at the school, say that the fight at Mount Hebron is linked to another altercation near an apartment complex on Town and Country Boulevard in Ellicott City.

Cheryl Lonchas of Ellicott City, whose two sons were good friends with Brazell, said that the victim and her sons, Joe, 20, and Tim, 18, were called during Presidents Day weekend about the fight at the apartments. Neither Brazell nor her sons, who spent that weekend at her home, went, she said. Her sons were later told by friends that "there were quite a few youths" there. "I think that the [earlier] fight spilled into [Saturday's fatal] fight," she said.

Llewellyn said the case is still under investigation. "I don't have any information that links this case to the other," she said. "Nor do I have the names of the people involved because they are juveniles."

Kevin Francis Klink, 18, a former wrestling champion from Columbia, was charged with first-degree murder in Brazell's death.

After his arrest, Klink's friends started a "Free Klink" group page on the social networking Web site facebook.com.

One friend who said he witnessed the fatal fight said that Klink was defending a friend who was involved in a fight with Brazell.

"He was defending his friend who the victim was beating," said the friend, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The reported witness said the fight started because "some kid ran his mouth off to him over the phone."

Police are also investigating a possible link between the fight at Mount Hebron and an underage drinking party -- thrown by a Mount Hebron student -- that took place less than a mile away the night of the fatal fight.

Police cited 15 people at the party on Robert Jay Way in Ellicott City for underage possession of alcohol.

Two Mount Hebron students, who declined to be identified, said they saw Brazell at the party with some of his friends several hours before the melee took place.john-john.williams@baltsun.com

Sun reporter Tyrone Richardson contributed to this article.

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