The Aegis
Harford County

Mother of Cal Ripken Jr. scares off would-be carjacker in Aberdeen

A man with a handgun confronted Cal Ripken Jr.'s mother outside a bank in Aberdeen on Tuesday afternoon and told her he wanted to steal her car, according to police.

Vi Ripken was able to scare off the man, who was later apprehended by Aberdeen police, by activating the panic alarm on her key fob. She was uninjured, and the man ran away without taking anything, said Lt. Fred Budnick, an Aberdeen police spokesman.


She was approached outside the NBRS branch in the 200 block of W. Bel Air Ave. about 3 p.m., Budnick said.

"Detectives are looking at what exactly transpired," he said.


Jesse A. Bowen, 33, of the 800 block of Lafayette St. in Havre de Grace was charged with attempted armed robbery, attempted armed car jacking, possessing a dangerous weapon, first-degree assault and controlled substance related charges in connection with the incident, police said Wednesday morning. Bowen is being held without bail at the Harford County Detention Center.

There was no physical assault and no theft, Budnick said, and employees at the bank called police.

The incident was the second in just over a year involving Vi Ripken in Aberdeen, a community known for its low crime rate.

"It's a little unusual," for her to be the victim of two crimes in a relatively short period, Budnick said, adding that Tuesday's incident "appears to be a crime of opportunity."

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In July 2012, Ripken was taken at gunpoint from her longtime home in Aberdeen, bound and driven around in her car, then released unharmed after about 24 hours. Police have not identified a suspect in that case. In August, the former Orioles great announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the kidnapper.

Earlier this year, Ripken told The Baltimore Sun that her abduction left her worried but that she was determined not to let it ruin her life.

Police said Tuesday's incident does not appear to be related to her kidnapping.

"There is no indication he had any involvement in last year's case. And there's no indication he knew who she was," Budnick said. "Right now, it appears to be a crime of opportunity rather than a targeted issue."


Detectives investigating the incident thought they were familiar with the suspect from descriptions and were able to put a name with the face and track him down, Budnick said. Bowen was apprehended about 5:45 p.m. while walking on Post Road in Aberdeen.