Mother of girl held in brawl also charged

November 29, 2007|By Josh Mitchell | Josh Mitchell,Sun reporter

Harford County authorities arrested the mother of one of the teenagers charged with attempted murder in a neighborhood brawl Sunday in Edgewood, accusing her of participating in the fight that left her neighbor paralyzed.

A day after pleading with a judge to release her 16-year-old daughter, Natasha Fowlkes was arrested at her home yesterday afternoon, a block from where the brawl occurred on Eloise Lane.

Fowlkes, 31, was charged with attempted second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit second-degree murder and two counts of assault, said Sgt. Christine Presberry, a Harford County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman. Fowlkes was being held last night at the Harford County Detention Center, awaiting a bail review by a commissioner.

Presberry said she could provide no details about Fowlkes' role in the melee that left Gregory James Simmons, 44, paralyzed from the waist down.

On Monday, police charged Fowlkes' daughter, Shamere Germany, and three other teenagers with attempted first-degree murder. Police say they were among the crowd that gathered in front of Simmons' home and began fighting over a female resident's relationship with a male neighbor.

Witnesses said as many as 50 people were present. Baseball bats and knives were used, and Simmons was struck on the head and stabbed in the back after telling the group to leave, police said. Yesterday, his wife said Simmons remained paralyzed, and she declined to comment further.

After watching deputies take Fowlkes away yesterday, her mother, Bennie Clayburne, said Fowlkes tried to stop the fight.

Clayburne said she went to Simmons' house Sunday after receiving a call about a confrontation that was about to occur. She said Simmons at one point ran outside the house.

"He walked right into a mob of guys, and they started to beat him," Clayburne said. "I was telling everybody, `Please, please, don't do it. You're going to kill him.' My daughter was saying the same thing."

Clayburne said she did not know what precipitated the brawl.

After Germany's bail review hearing in Bel Air on Monday, Fowlkes said that she and her daughter had witnessed the brawl and heard gunshots. She denied that her daughter was involved.

"I told her to get home, and she was going home," Fowlkes said. "Now she's in jail for something she didn't do."

"There was a million people there," she added. "How could they pinpoint four little girls? The police needed somebody, so they grabbed them."

All four teenagers were ordered held without bail.

Police have obtained arrest warrants for four others accused in the fight, Presberry said yesterday.

josh.mitchell@baltsun.com

Sun reporter Madison Park contributed to this article.

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