August 31, 2007

Man, 25, pleads guilty to robbing ex-employer

A 25-year-old Baltimore man admitted yesterday to using a gun to rob his former employer -- Bowman Restaurant and Pub -- in May.

Nathaniel Green pleaded guilty in Baltimore County Circuit Court to two counts of armed robbery.

Green and another man entered the restaurant on Harford Road in Carney about 9:30 a.m. May 2 while employees were preparing for lunchtime customers. One worker escaped and ran next door to the Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 4, where a retired officer quickly called 911.

Meanwhile, the two suspects -- armed with a shotgun and a knife -- demanded money, rifled through an open safe and locked the three remaining employees in a walk-in refrigerator, according to charging documents.

By the time police arrived, the robbers had fled. Restaurant management told police that $4,750 in cash was stolen, according to court records.

Green was arrested the next day after restaurant employees told police that they recognized the masked gunman as a former co-worker by his voice, build and "swagger," according to charging documents.

Another man charged in the robbery, Shakime Duval Jackson, 34, also of Baltimore, was arrested several days later. He is scheduled to go to trial in November.

State sentencing guidelines recommend a prison term of five to 10 years. Baltimore County prosecutor Allan J. Webster said he will ask for a 30-year sentence when Green is sentenced in December.

Jennifer McMenamin

Board of appeals

Court rules against epileptic officer

A decorated police officer with a history of seizures should not be allowed to return to duty, Baltimore County's Board of Appeals ruled yesterday.

Phillip Crumbacker, a veteran of the Baltimore County police department for more than 20 years, was designated for disability retirement in 2006 by the county's Board of Trustees of the Employees' Retirement System.

Crumbacker suffered two seizures in 2004, including one when he was driving a patrol car on the Baltimore Beltway and crashed.

The officer's attorney argued that Crumbacker is not disabled, has not had a seizure in more than two years and is capable of returning to full duty.

But during hearings last year and earlier this year, several doctors testified that even if the officer continued to take his medication, there was a 25 percent to 30 percent chance that Crumbacker would suffer another seizure, with the risk diminishing over the years.

In its ruling, the Board of Appeals said they believed the risk of potential incapacity was "too great."

"There is not only a public expectation, but also a legal expectation regarding an officer's ability and fitness for the position," Board of Appeals Chairwoman Margaret Brassil wrote in the order.

Cole B. Weston, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 4, the union representing Crumbacker, said yesterday that the board's decision will be reviewed with lawyers.

Crumbacker, who has been working in an administrative job during the appeals process, has 30 days to request a Circuit Court judge to review the order.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled last week that the medical testing ordered of Crumbacker and three other officers by Baltimore County violates protections guaranteed under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

Laura Barnhardt


Bike ride, run to benefit hospital

The second Save-A-Limb Bike Ride, Trail Run & Mile Obstacle Walk fundraiser is scheduled for Sunday at Oregon Ridge Park.

The event raises money for the Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics at Sinai Hospital's Save-A-Limb Fund, established to help save patients' limbs from amputation and to preserve patients' joints. It also raises money for the International Center for Limb Lengthening, which provides technological advances, financial support for special needs patients, educational activities and research programs.

The schedule includes: a 60-mile bike ride at 6:30 a.m.; a 30-mile bike ride at 8:30 a.m.; a 9K trail run at 9 a.m.; a six-mile bike ride at 9:30 a.m.; and a one-mile walk at 10 a.m. A picnic is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Oregon Ridge Park is at 13401 Beaver Dam Road.

Events or news items for the Baltimore County Digest may be submitted to baltco.news@baltsun.com. Information should be sent at least 10 days in advance of the event.

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