Baltimore County Police are stepping up patrols in a Rosedale neighborhood after tensions with a confederate flag-wielding-neighbor erupt into violence and tonight some of the people living there say they still fear for their lives.
Baltimore County police say they have stepped up patrols in a Rosedale neighborhood after a man who had been seen waving a Confederate battle flag in the area was accused of shouting racial slurs and threatening neighbors.
Brandon Michael Herold, 18, who is white, was charged with assaulting two white neighbors Sunday in the 8000 block of Duvall Ave, according to court records. He faces charges of first- and second-degree assault.
A victim in the alleged assault told The Baltimore Sun on Thursday that Herold pointed at the homes of black families, used racial slurs and threatened to kill people.
"The whole neighborhood is up in arms," said Matthew Pietrowski, 27, who is listed as a victim in the assault in court papers. He said Herold was seen carrying the Confederate flag for days before the incident.
Neighbors told police Herold was riding a bike with the flag Sunday morning, police wrote in charging documents. About noon, police said, Herold allegedly approached Pietrowski with a knife drawn and threatened to kill him.
The two men began to fight and a third neighbor tried to intervene, but was cut by the knife in Herold's possession, police wrote.
Pietrowski told The Sun he was in his driveway when Herold approached him. Herold threatened to kill people in the neighborhood — "especially these [expletives]," he said, pointing at homes where black families live, according to Pietrowski.
Neither Herold nor his family could be reached for comment Thursday.
Shirlette Jackson, 50, a black woman who lives in the predominantly white neighborhood with her husband and daughter, has been posting photos on social media of Herold carrying the flag.
Jackson said she didn't care at first when she initially saw Herold carrying a Confederate flag. But now, she said, "I feel very threatened."
Police spokesman Cpl. John Wachter said police have increased patrols in the neighborhood.
"We take these kinds of incidents very, very seriously," he said. "There will be extra people around for a while."
Jackson said she has been pleased with the police response so far.
"They have been really supportive," she said.
Herold told police he had the flag out earlier in the day and later walked through the area mumbling a racial slur under his breath, police wrote in charging documents. Herold said he began arguing with several men who then "jumped" him.
Herold was released on his own recognizance on the condition he enter mental health treatment at Sheppard Pratt Health System, according to court records.
An attorney who represented Herold at his bail review hearing declined to comment on the case because he didn't know if he would continue to represent him.
Court records indicate Herold also is facing assault and racial harassment charges stemming from allegations he assaulted a teacher and yelled racial slurs at black students at Parkville High School in October 2014.
Herold's father, 47-year-old Harry Anthony Herold, was charged Wednesday with trespassing and other charges. Police say he looked into one of the victim's homes and drove down the street pointing at homes of witnesses Monday. He was released on $35,000 bail.