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Baltimore Crime Beat
Police and court news
Police car struck, naked woman hospitalized in separate chases

A suspect in a Baltimore drug investigation rammed a city police sergeant's car as he sped away from officers in the Highlands neighborhood Tuesday, police said.

The sergeant, who was not identified, was taken to University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was treated for minor injuries and released, police said. The officer was on foot, and the police car struck him, police said. The suspect escaped after the crash, which happened at about noon in the 3000 block of E. Baltimore St., police said. The incident started in the 3800 block, police said. Police did not identify the suspect or give any additional details.

In a separate incident two hours earlier on the northwest side of the city, a woman driving a stolen car led officers on a chase in the 3900 block of Wabash Ave. in East Arlington before crashing into foliage in front of a nearby home, police said. Officers called for the police Foxtrot helicopter, which helped find her in a nearby wooded area. The woman, who was...

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Police break up $39,000 'Molly' deal in Northeast Baltimore

Four kilograms of the party drug "Molly" were seized when authorities broke up a drug deal in the parking lot behind a Northeast Baltimore restaurant on Friday, court records show.

Baltimore Police officers and federal agents with Homeland Security Investigations received a detailed tip that a shipment of MDMC, more commonly known as "Molly," was set to be delivered on Friday afternoon, police wrote in court records.

Officers set up surveillance in the area of Northern Parkway and Harford Road and saw a car matching a description of one of the participants pull into the rear parking lot of Valentino's restaurant, police said.

After police said they watched the exchange of a black backpack and a shopping bag, as described by the tipster, they moved in and arrested two men. 

Police said one of the men was carrying $39,900 in cash, and seized approximately four kilograms of "Molly."

Court documents say both men were arrested, and court records show the alleged buyer has since been charged...

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Murder suspect remains at large after mistaken release from jail

Jacqueline Davis thought the man charged with killing her son was securely behind bars, awaiting a retrial. She was shocked when she heard Sunday that he had been seen in her neighborhood, riding in a white Buick and flashing his release papers.

Davis said it was only after her family notified authorities that Rodriquez Purnell was loose that the manhunt for him began. No one has contacted her since, she said, and she worries about the safety of witnesses who testified against Purnell during his first trial, which ended with a hung jury in August.

The Maryland Reception, Diagnostics and Classification Center released Purnell by mistake on Friday, but did not discover the error until two days later.

Officials said the 30-year-old remained missing Tuesday. Also missing was an explanation for the accidental release, prompting at least one lawmaker to call for an independent investigation, and the Republican gubernatorial nominee to blast the O'Malley administration for a "colossal...

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Man shot in leg in Belair-Edison Monday night

A man was shot in the leg a few blocks from Herring Run Park in the northeast neighborhood of Belair-Edison Monday night, police said.

Police were called shortly before 9 p.m. to the 3600 block of Dudley Avenue for the report of a shooting where they found the victim. He was taken to an area hospital.

Police believe the shooting occurred nearby in the 3500 block of Juneway.

Northeastern District detectives are investigating and ask that anyone with information to call 410-396-2444.

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Girl, 14, charged as adult in Southwest Baltimore stabbing

A 14-year-old girl is being held as an adult after being charged with attempted first-degree murder in connection with a serious stabbing in Southwest Baltimore.

Arica Leonard, who was born in 1999 and turns 15 next month, was being held in the juvenile unit of the women's detention center — one of just two girls being held there, officials said. She is accused of stabbing a female in the back of the head with a "long knife" during a fight last week, court records show.

The victim suffered three cuts to the back of her head that required five staples and four stitches, police wrote in charging documents.

In Maryland, youth charged with attempted first-degree murder and other offenses that carry a possible maximum penalty of life in prison are automatically charged as adults. They can petition the court to have the case waived to the juvenile system.

Leonard was initially held without bond by a District Court commissioner, but at a bail review a District Court judge set bail at...

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U.S. Dept. of Justice reveals plans to review Baltimore Police Dept.

A U.S. Department of Justice official pledged Monday to conduct a thorough, independent and objective review of the city police force after hearing more concerns from residents about excessive force and other misconduct by Baltimore officers.

While some Baltimoreans called for a full-scale civil rights probe of the city police, the head of the Justice Department's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services said federal officials believe working with the department is the best way to improve its interactions with the community.

Ronald L. Davis, the director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS, said they decided on that approach — called collaborative review —after considering the reforms instituted in last two years by Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

"The civil rights division is a part of the process," Davis said, "and they retain the ability to come into Baltimore if reform is not made, if recommendations are not...

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