City / County Digest

CITY / COUNTY DIGEST

June 26, 2007

`Stepping out' suspended after death of Howard officer

After the death of Cpl. Scott Wheeler during a traffic enforcement detail, Howard County police yesterday suspended the practice of officers stepping into traffic to flag down speeders on roads with speed limits higher than 35 mph.

The partial suspension of "stop teams," in which one officer operates radar while others pull over cars, will last until Police Chief William J. McMahon completes a review of the department's traffic enforcement policies.

"We're going to look at surrounding jurisdictions and other jurisdictions around the nation," said Pfc. Jennifer Reidy, a spokeswoman for the department. "We're going to ask whether stop teams should be changed, and if so, what it should be changed to."

One of McMahon's chief deputies e-mailed the announcement to members of the department yesterday, Reidy said.

Wheeler, 31, died June 18 after trying to flag down a speeding Nissan Sentra on eastbound Route 32 between Interstate 95 and U.S. 1 on June 16. The 24-year-old driver of the car apparently did not see him in time to avoid a collision. She has not been charged with a crime, but the investigation is continuing.

Since Wheeler's death, Anne Arundel County suspended its "stepping out" policy, pending a 30-day review.

Melissa Harris

Baltimore

: Archhdiocese

Cardinal Keeler out of the hospital

Cardinal William H. Keeler has returned to his residence after spending about a week in the hospital while recovering from brain surgery to treat a neurological condition, said a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Last week, neurosurgeons at Johns Hopkins Hospital inserted a shunt in Keeler's brain to allow excess cerebrospinal fluid to drain away. Archdiocese spokesman Sean Caine said Keeler had inpatient rehabilitation at the hospital and will continue therapy. The cardinal has been walking and has resumed some of his activities as Baltimore's archbishop.

Liz F Kay

Amber alert

Missing boy, 3, is returned home

A 3-year-old Baltimore boy was reunited with his mother yesterday morning, hours after city and state authorities issued an Amber Alert, saying the boy had been kidnapped.

Kyren Parks, who did not appear to be injured, was returned to his home in the 1600 block of Mountmor Court about 10 a.m. and was taken to Mercy Medical Center as a precaution, police said.

The boy had been seen leaving his home about 11 a.m. Sunday in a white 1996 Ford Taurus with his mother's boyfriend, identified as Robert Shaun Douglas, 38.

After the boy was returned, police said, Douglas was taken into custody and was being questioned.

Nicole Fuller

Baltimore County

: Middle River

Home invasion suspect hunted

Baltimore County police are asking for the public's help in finding a suspect in a May home invasion and shooting in Middle River.

Police are seeking Kester Anthony Browne, 28, and other unidentified suspects.

Police said Browne might have been shot in the upper arm during the incident in May and that he might be staying in East Baltimore. They said the suspect should be considered armed and dangerous.

People with information about this crime or Browne are asked to call Baltimore County police, 410-307-2020, or Metro Crime Stoppers, 866-7-LOCKUP.

Julie Scharper

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