Charles M. Knock IV
Charles M. Knock IV (HANDOUT)

Police forced a Westminster garage open with a sledgehammer after a man locked himself inside and refused to leave, police say.

Charles Morris Knock IV, 55, of the 2800 block of Old Liberty Road in Sykesville, has been charged with fourth -egree burglary and two counts related to trespassing, according to online court documents. He was released on $2,500 bail July 24, online documents show.

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The owner of the garage in the 900 block of Washington Road told Maryland State Police that Knock had been renting the garage for storage, but was living in it and not paying rent, according to the statement of probable cause. The owner showed police a judge-signed court order from the Circuit Court of Carroll County that granted possession of the storage unit/garage to the property owner and stated Knock owed an additional $6,600 to the property owner, according to the statement. Knock received a copy of the court order, the statement reads.

Since then, Knock has repeatedly removed an exterior lock the owner placed on the garage, barricaded himself inside, and locked the door from the inside, according to the statement. The property owner contacted police July 24 at 9:16 a.m. for assistance when he suspected Knock was inside the garage, the statement reads.

Police issued a final warning, and when no reply came from within the garage, police used a 10-pound sledgehammer to force open the door that was locked from the inside, according to the statement. Police found Knock sleeping in a “small living space he built” in the garage, which included a bed, television, dressers, and clothing racks.

Knock admitted he opened the door the property owner had locked and said he was present when the judge pronounced the judgment against him June 10, according to the statement.

Knock declined to comment when reached by phone Monday. No attorney information for Knock was listed online. A court date is scheduled for Oct. 8.

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