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As Recher hearing nears, police reports offer details of Towson melee

The Baltimore County Police Department on Thursday released its reports regarding the response to the late Sept.22/early Sept. 23 mob scene that occurred on York Road in Towson, which resulted in several arrests.

The release comes just days before the owners of the Recher Theatre are scheduled to appear before the Baltimore County Board of Liquor License Commissioners, Monday, Nov. 19, to review what role the theater may have played in the late-night melee.

The reports, released Nov. 15, provide details into seven arrests made on a night when as many as 2,500 people reportedly congregated in the streets of Towson after a fraternity party at the Recher reached capacity and left hundreds of hopeful attendees waiting outside.

According to the reports, an employee of the Recher Theatre notified police at 11:12 p.m. that night that the crowd had spilled from in front of the establishment into the street, and that he needed help clearing the crowd out of the roadway.

Officers arrived at the scene to find "no less than 1,500 people in front of the Recher Theatre and other businesses," the report said, with people drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana while blocking the right lane of York Road and all of Shealey Avenue.

The report indicates the officers began trying to disperse the crowd, but no one moved. Officers were dispatched to nearby fights that broke out in the area.

At one point, the report said, Recher Theatre owner Brian Recher got on a bullhorn to inform the crowd that no one else would get in, though the report indicates the announcement had little affect.

Later, the report said, K-9 units were used to clear the streets with varying degrees of success, and after a second attempt, the crowd began to disperse.

Reports were also released for the individual arrests, all of which stemmed from either fights or individuals' refusals to follow police orders.

Police said Chad Schultz, 24 of Lutherville, was arrested for confronting officers and refusing to move with the crowd on several instances. He was later charged with disorderly conduct. The reports said another man, Benjamin Aduna, 21, of Parkville, was also arrested. He was later charged with failure to obey a lawful order and resisting arrest.

One report said a portion of the crowd began running down Shealey Avenue at approximately 12:13 a.m., yelling that a fight had broken out. Two men — Junior Ramsey, 23 of Hyattsville, and Dimante Fox, 24, of Baltimore — were arrested for assaulting officers attempting to break up the fight in the parking lot behind the Recher. They were charged with second-degree assault, failure to obey a lawful order and other charges.

A separate report indicated that officers began to make a more concerted effort to clear and secure the scene when a 20-year-old man was found in the area with two gunshots wounds, which was later revealed to have occurred as he walked to a parking garage.

While trying to clear the crowd, Steven Daniels, 25, of Baltimore, walked toward the officers and tried to go north on York Road, and engaged in a physical altercation with police, injuring one officer, the report said. He was also later charged with second-degree assault and failure to obey a lawful order.

Nicholas Bedford, 22 of Owings Mills, also tried to walk north against officers' orders, and was arrested for failure to obey a lawful order. Officers observed another fight at approximately 1:40 a.m. in the courtyard in front of the Towson Library, where one man, Wendell Griffin, 22 of Baltimore, was arrested, the report said.

On Monday at the liquor board hearing, the owners of the Recher Theatre will be attempting to prove their actions that night did not jeopardize the peace and safety of the neighborhood. That's the legal standard by which the owners could be fined, or receive a license suspension or revocation.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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