The man accused of ramming his vehicle through the Havre de Grace police station’s front doors Sunday night, after calling the station and threatening to kill an officer, was held without bail after a Tuesday hearing in Harford County District Court.
Timothy Joel Jackson Kahl, 26, is charged with multiple counts of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and malicious destruction of property and one count of reckless endangerment, according to electronic court records. Attempted first-degree murder charge can carry a life sentence.
Assistant public defender Jacqueline Summs said in court Tuesday that Kahl suffered from a host of “severe mental health issues” and had recently been evaluated for schizophrenia.
“He understands the gravity of the situation,” Summs said. “He is concerned about his health and wants assistance.”
She asked for Kahl’s conditional release at Tuesday’s hearing, citing his minimal criminal record, but Judge Mimi Cooper agreed with the state that the accusations were severe enough to warrant holding him at the Harford County Detention Center without bond.
Summs contended that Kahl could be released on a number of conditions, like a referral to the Klein Family Harford Crisis Center or be put on house arrest. She also asked the court to be open to reconsidering his bond after a plan is developed for him to be released from jail and treated.
Given the opportunity to speak before Cooper made her decision, Kahl said he never meant to hurt anyone and that he would abide by whatever conditions the judge set.
“I am scared,” Kahl said. “I will not hurt anyone, I never intended to hurt anyone.”
That lack of intent was echoed by his mother, Joan Kahl, who spoke outside the courtroom, saying he “never spoke to me about any intention,” before Summs stopped her. According to the charging documents, his mother had urged Kahl to get out of the car when police arrived Sunday.
Summs declined to comment after the hearing.
Judge Cooper acknowledged Kahl’s minor criminal record, but ultimately favored the assistant state’s attorney Tashani Dickson’s argument, which held that Kahl was a danger to the community and should be held without bond.
“Despite the fact that today he appears to be pleasant .... the court cannot put the rest of the community in grave danger by releasing him,” Cooper said.
Police said Kahl had called the station shortly after 9:30 p.m. Sunday to say he wanted to come to the building and shoot a police officer. When officers responded to the area near the 400 block of Village Drive where Kahl lived, they found him in his SUV and approached him.
When they did, Kahl tried to run over the officers, according to charging documents filed in district court, striking several parked cars in the area. He then drove to the city’s police department at 715 Pennington Ave., ramming his car through the front doors, Havre de Grace Police Cpl. Ken Terry said.
According to the police, when Kahl arrived at the station in his SUV, he hit a parked car, then lined his vehicle up with the front doors, hopped the curb and rammed the vehicle through the building. The doors were not reinforced, Terry said, and nobody was in the lobby at the time of the incident.
The impact deployed the SUV’s airbags and immobilized the vehicle, Terry said. Kahl climbed out of it and went outside, where he confronted officers.
The officers used a stun gun on Kahl because he was not following their instructions, Terry said. According to charging documents, two police officers used stun guns on him “almost simultaneously” when he would not stop steadily walking toward them.
Kahl was then arrested and taken to Harford Memorial Hospital. Neither drugs or alcohol were involved in the incident, Terry said.
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No police officers or staff were injured, Terry said, but the department’s building sustained “severe damage.”