Carroll residents worry about lingering effects of Baltimore unrest

Protesters face a police vehicle Tuesday, April 28, 2015, in Baltimore. Maryland's governor vowed there would be no repeat of the looting, arson and vandalism that erupted Monday in some of the city's poorest neighborhoods. (Lloyd Fox/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
Protesters face a police vehicle Tuesday, April 28, 2015, in Baltimore. Maryland's governor vowed there would be no repeat of the looting, arson and vandalism that erupted Monday in some of the city's poorest neighborhoods. (Lloyd Fox/The Baltimore Sun via AP) (Lloyd Fox, AP)

Monday's violence in Baltimore turned to more peaceful demonstrations through the evening Tuesday, but the impacts of earlier events began affecting the day-to-day lives of Carroll residents.

The unrest follows the April 19 death of Freddie Gray, 25, which came a week after he was injured while being arrested by Baltimore police. Twenty police officers were injured, 235 arrests were made and 144 vehicles were set on fire Monday night, according to The Baltimore Sun.


For those who are conducting business or plan to travel to the city in the coming days and weeks, there was fear and uncertainty on many of their minds.

That uncertainty prompted Century High School principal Troy Barnes to send a notice to parents about the school's upcoming prom scheduled for Saturday, May 9, at the Baltimore Hilton near Camden Yards.


"Student safety is our paramount concern and we are engaged in a deliberate process of examining all options to secure student safety while providing a prom experience that students will find memorable," Barnes wrote. "Much will depend on information I receive through the remainder of this week regarding contracts, funding options and site availability."

Carroll County Public Schools Superintendent Stephen Guthrie sent a notice to parents on Tuesday afternoon assuring them that the school system and other county agencies are monitoring the situation in Baltimore, and will "take all appropriate steps to keep our county free of any copycat or connected events."

As long as the state of emergency declared by Gov. Larry Hogan and the citywide curfew enacted by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake are in place, school-sponsored events to Baltimore will be canceled.

Private schools and day care centers also canceled scheduled field trips to the city.

Samantha Shelton, of Hampstead, said her 4-year-old daughter's first field trip from private Little Feet Preschool in Hampstead to the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, was canceled because of the riots.

"I think it's sad for the kids. I want my child to be safe, but I think it's pretty pathetic," Shelton said. "I agree with peaceful protests — I don't agree with riots and looting."

Guthrie added that if any violent events are planned in areas bordering Baltimore, trips to those areas will also be canceled. Despite rumors on social media, no "purge" events — rumors of which sparked the unrest at Mondawmin Mall that seemed to be the catalyst for Monday's violence — occured in the county.

School counselors will be available for students who need someone to talk to, Guthrie said.

"I want to emphasize that we are a professional educational organization with an obligation to provide a learning environment for students and staff that is free from harassment, bullying, and hostility," Guthrie wrote. "Therefore, racially insensitive statements will not be tolerated. Reports of such statements will be swiftly investigated and appropriate action will be taken,"

Meanwhile, some Carroll residents expressed fear of traveling into the city, uncertain what the future might bring.

Meagan Byers, of Westminster, said her son receives medical care at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore and is hoping things have returned to normal by his next appointment May 14.

"We have to come to Baltimore because we don't have the same care here in Carroll; it's why his primary care doctor at Carroll Children's Center sent us there in the first place," Byers said.


Baugher's Farm and Orchard in Westminster chose not to make food deliveries in the city Tuesday after Monday's "mess," said Dwight Baugher, orchard manager. He said the company would keep in touch with downtown customers and re-evaluate later this week.

Even small-business owners like Lisa Alford, of Tropical Island Snoballs in Manchester, worried about how recent events could affect her business.

"I get my syrup from Kavern on O'Donnell Street [in East Baltimore]. I'm hoping to go Friday," she said. "My main concern is that things are spreading out and I'm concerned about safety to travel, even in the outskirts of the city. With me opening Saturday, I want to make sure the customers have what they need."

On Tuesday, some members of Carroll law enforcement, along with officers from other neighboring counties, were downtown providing assistance to Baltimore City Police.

Sheriff Jim DeWees sent an armored personnel carrier, along with two deputies, into the city late Monday night to be used "as long as they need it until everything is calmed down."

On Tuesday afternoon, DeWees said the deputies were talking to citizens throughout the day, focused in the area of Pennsylvania and North avenues where protesters were gathered. Four deputies were to be rotated in Tuesday night, DeWees said.

A Westminster Police Department officer assigned to the Crisis Intervention Team — Carroll's SWAT force — was expected to head into the city Tuesday night because he is assigned to the armored personnel carrier, according to Chief Jeff Spaulding.

Maryland State Police troopers trained in crowd control — called the mobile field force — were mobilized throughout the day, according to Sgt. Marc Black.

Black could not provide a breakdown of which barracks troopers were responding from Tuesday afternoon but said that if troopers from the Westminster Barrack were not called in already, they will be.

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