Top cop grabs perp on patrol


July 16, 2008|By LAURA VOZZELLA

After a short foot chase the other night, Baltimore police arrested a guy suspected of dealing drugs. And you're thinking, "This is news?"

Well, yes, because the cop doing the chasing was none other than Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III.

Bealefeld was out early Friday evening, riding with a two-man security detail in East Baltimore. He stopped to talk with some officers. Made an appearance at a block party. And, in the 900 block of N. Eden St., observed what looked like a drug deal going down.

"They got out of the truck," spokesman Sterling Clifford said. "The guy ran. The commissioner and one member of his detail ran after him. The third guy stayed with the truck and tried to cut him off. They chased him for about 31/2 blocks. In the 1400 block of North Caroline, one of the detectives was in front with the truck, the commissioner was running [from] behind. He figured he was caught and gave up."

With homicides down 35 percent over last year, Baltimore's top cop might be tempted to put his feet up on his desk. But apparently he's more inclined to run down bad guys.

Bealefeld has made "a handful" of arrests since taking the reins of the department a year ago this week. While out last fall, Bealefeld spotted some guys gathered around what appeared to be a drug stash in a vacant lot, Clifford said.

"Commissioner jumped out. Detectives with him jumped out," Clifford said. "He chased that guy into an alley somewhere. I think that was, like, four or five blocks."

Baltimore can always use another cop on the streets - especially one Pat Jessamy is willing to put on the stand.

He should know that elephants never forget

At a Towson shop called aParaDox Studio, Tom Doxanas sells a T-shirt emblazoned with the Republican elephant and the words "Greedy Old Pigs."

He didn't expect GOP cheers.

Neither did he expect their cease-and-desist order.

The Republican National Committee claims in a letter that the shirts constitute an unauthorized use of its familiar, three-starred pachyderm, otherwise known as "Official Elephant Logo (Federal Trademark Registration No. 1908397)."

Writing on letterhead topped with that very elephant, RNC Associate Counsel Troy McCurry warned Doxanas to quit selling the shirts or see them in court.

Doxanas, who just picked up the June 30 letter yesterday from his P.O. box, thinks the shirt is fair game as satire. He plans to consult a lawyer. "I'm definitely going to argue it, for sure."

He'll answer, but he's not taking any backtalk

Melanie Brockman of Cockeysville is unhappy with Baltimore County Council members. Thinks they failed to challenge County Exec Jim Smith on school building issues. Lets them have it via e-mail. Council Chairman Kevin Kamenetz sends a lengthy reply. Brockman finds it "condescending" and gives him another BlackBerry-ful.

Kamenetz's response: "Since you know all of the answers, there is little point in further communication. Since you don't like my attitude, may I suggest that you stop wasting my time. Good luck with your attitude."

Ticked off, the woman forwards Kamenetz's response far and wide. To the chairman's great shame? Not really.

He points out that he sent that flip reply on the morning of July 4.

"I gave her a detailed and timely response, and on a federal holiday, to boot."

Even Brockman credits Kamenetz for that much. "[A]lthough Councilman Kamenetz's response is disgraceful," she writes, "he is the only councilman that responded to my original email sent to all council members and Jim Smith."

A partial ID for the mystery portrait

Got an answer on that mysterious portrait I wrote about last column - and a new question.

On Sunday, I wrote about a 1950s oil painting that Linda Kiefer Sanders found while cleaning out her late parents' Catonsville home. Sanders was trying to find out who the gray-haired man in the suit was. She didn't want a nice painting to go to waste. And she didn't want to have to haul the thing back home to San Diego.

In came the e-mails. Former state Sen. Harry McGuirk? Former Baltimore Mayor J. Harold Grady? Milton Eisenhower, the former Hopkins prez and Ike's kid brother? Somebody's Great-uncle Edwin? Two people guessed Spiro Agnew.

Torie Parker Hobbs Harlan, daughter of the artist, Grace Parker Hobbs, knows for sure. She said the man is "Dr. Hopkins," who took care of her father (the artist's husband) after a bad car accident in 1952.

"As a little girl, I used to sit and watch her work on this very portrait."

Harlan has no idea how the picture wound up in Dick and Susannah Kiefer's attic. (She said her mother sometimes borrowed her paintings and pastels from clients to display at art festivals. Dick Kiefer was active in community events, so maybe he was storing the painting and forgot about it, Harlan said.)

In any case, Harlan is going to take the painting off Sanders' hands. But she'd gladly give it to Hopkins, if by some chance he's still around, or his heirs, if he has any. But she doesn't even know his first name. She knows he worked at St. Agnes Hospital a half-century ago and figures he was in orthopedics, since her dad had lots of broken bones.

I left some messages with a St. Agnes spokesman, who didn't call back. Surely someone there has the answer.

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