Stabbing at White Marsh Mall raises safety concerns

April 04, 2010|By Robbie Whelan | Baltimore Sun reporter

Standing outside the entrance to The Sports Authority at White Marsh Mall, Nick Greif recalled the stabbing that occurred here Thursday night.

"Basically, he got stabbed twice. A bunch of people came up. The guy who stabbed him tried to ride away on a dirt bike," said the 21-year-old Kingsville resident and server at Buffalo Wild Wings, which is adjacent to the sporting goods store.

The victim cried, "I'm leaking!" and was bleeding from the back of his thigh, Greif said, but still shouted about getting back at his attackers.

Greif was working at the restaurant Thursday when shortly before 9:30 p.m., an 18-year-old man was stabbed after an argument, according to Baltimore County police.

Two teenagers, Deveran McCoy Fowlkes, 17, and Jerome Wesley Brisueno, 18, were later arrested at a nearby Wendy's and charged with first-degree assault in the stabbing. They are being held at Baltimore County Detention Center on $50,000 bond.

Thursday's incident, as well as a recent brawl inside Buffalo Wild Wings that was caught on video and posted online at YouTube.com, has some shoppers and employees worried about safety at the shopping center.

Kati Smith, 20, of Perry Hall, who on Saturday was at the mall buying roller blades for her younger brother, recalled the murder in 2005 of William A. Bassett, 58, a science teacher who was shot in the head with a shotgun in a parking lot at Towson Town Center in a botched robbery attempt.

That killing prompted a Baltimore County law requiring shopping centers with 15 or more retail businesses to install security cameras.

"I thought Towson was the dangerous mall, but it turns out White Marsh isn't so safe either," Smith said. She added that she was at the mall Thursday night, shopping at Macy's when the stabbing occurred, but didn't hear about it until the next day.

Tom Long, director of public safety at White Marsh Mall, declined to answer questions Saturday about how many of his security officers patrol the shopping center and what parts of the mall complex they cover, but Teresa Chafin, a manager at Buffalo Wild Wings, said they regularly pass by the entrance to the restaurant on their daily patrols.

Chafin said she was called in Thursday night when news of the stabbing broke. The police roped off the entrance to the restaurant, but customers were allowed to enter through the outdoor patio.

In December, about nine young women were involved in a fistfight inside the restaurant. A YouTube video of the incident shows at least four women punching one another in the face and throwing each other to the ground. Chafin said police were called to the incident, but no arrests were made, and it is unclear what caused the fight.

On Saturday, Buffalo Wild Wings was bustling with patrons who ordered the restaurant's signature chicken wings and tall glasses of beer. Families came in to dine as a high school basketball championship game was shown on wall-mounted televisions.

Diners showed no signs of concern two days after the stabbing.

"We try to stay family-oriented," Chafin said.

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