Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Sheriff's office clears out homeless encampment in Westminster

A Westminster homeless encampment that was the site of a stabbing last week was cleared out this week by the Carroll County Sheriff's Office.

The dwellers were given until Monday by the sheriff's office to vacate the encampment, located near Goodwin's Quarry Road and the railroad tracks in Westminster, after arrests were made last week of two homeless men.


Deputies arrived at the encampment Monday afternoon and found it vacated, according to Maj. Phil Kasten, of the sheriff's office.

Members of the sheriff's office and the county's Department of Public Works will conduct a clean-up operation of the area Friday morning, Kasten said.


On Nov. 7, a fight erupted at the encampment in which a man who was staying there was beaten and stabbed by two other homeless men, according to court documents.

Police arrested Richard Eugene Tracey, 50, and Timothy Robert Smith, 45, on charges of assault.

First aid was administered to the stabbing victim at the scene and he was transported to the Carroll Hospital Center for non-life threatening injuries, according to court documents.

At the time of the stabbing five people were staying at the homeless encampment, though police believe more could have been living there from the amount of debris left behind and information from area residents, Kasten said.

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Police did not know to where the dwellers vacated, according to Kasten.

In March, the sheriff's office cleared out and cleaned up a separate homeless encampment located near Md. 27 and the railroad tracks in Westminster.

Police have been to the site one time since to clear out homeless who had reassembled there, according to Kasten.

"Unfortunately, through the course of time, several places in and around Westminster have been the site of encampments and homelessness is an unfortunate thing that has struck many families," Kasten said.


The sheriff's office will continue to work with local social services and nonprofit volunteers to help the homeless in obtaining assistance and services, Kasten said, while also providing a safe environment for the county's residents.

These homeless encampments are a problem the sheriff's office will continue to monitor, Kasten said.

"We continue to provide patrols throughout the county and we continue to respond to residents' concerns and deal with things accordingly," Kasten said.