Man, 44, arrested after authorities say he swung sword at officers

Deputy's attempt to serve court order leads to 8-hour standoff in Edgewater

March 30, 2011|By Don Markus, The Baltimore Sun

A 44-year-old Edgewater man was arrested early Wednesday after swinging a sword at law enforcement officers during an eight-hour standoff that began when a sheriff's deputy attempted to serve a court order, authorities said.

Michael R. Beach, who according to Anne Arundel County Sheriff Ron Bateman was "well-known" to his deputies and police, was being served with a protective order filed by his mother, Martha Beach, who wanted to have her son removed from her home, a spokesman for the sheriff's office said. It was the second time in three years that she had filed a protective order against her son, according to electronic court records.

About 4:20 p.m. Tuesday, Beach, brandishing a sword, charged at the sheriff's deputy trying to serve the court order at his mother's residence in the 2700 block of Cassia Drive, police said. The deputy suffered a cracked rib while trying to evade Beach, Bateman said. He was taken to Anne Arundel County Medical Center, where he was treated and released. Beach went back into the house and refused to come out.

After trying to negotiate with Beach for several hours, during which neighbors were told to stay inside, police used a newly purchased remote-control robot camera to locate and communicate with Beach.

About 10:20 p.m., tactical officers used a chemical agent to help gain entry into the house. They found Beach wounded but still holding the sword and not willing to surrender. Police then shot him in the abdomen with beanbag rounds, and he tried to hide in a bathroom, according to police. Police subdued Beach using a Taser.

He was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore with what authorities described as a "self-inflicted wound" to the upper torso. A hospital spokeswoman said Wednesday evening that Beach was in serious condition.

Beach had not been charged as of Wednesday.

Beach spent nearly a year in jail for second-degree assault stemming from an incident April 30, 2007, the same day his mother filed the first protective order against him, according to electronic court records. That order lasted until May 2008.

"I am extremely proud of the men and women of the police department, especially the officers of the Special Operations Division, who integrated their skills and abilities with this recently obtained technology to ensure a safe resolution to an extremely dangerous situation," Anne Arundel County Police Chief Col. James Teare Sr. said in a statement.

"My guy's lucky to be alive," said Bateman. "A cracked rib is better than being in a box."

don.markus@baltsun.com

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