Police, fire log


Record - 74 DIALOG(R)File 714:(Baltimore) The Sun (c) 2004 Baltimore Sun. All rts. reserv.


Heavy winds caused a tree to crash onto a Columbia house during Thursday's storm, forcing a family of four to move out until approximately $25,000 worth of damage is repaired.

The 30-foot tree toppled onto the home of Allen Hardester at about 8:35 p.m., taking out a wall of a second-floor guest bedroom, county firefighters said.

The Hardesters, whose home is in the 5900 block of Camelback Lane, are staying at an area Holiday Inn. A county building inspector declared the house structurally unsafe until repairs are made.

Hardester said he was at home with his wife and two children, ages 5 and 6, when the tree was knocked over by the wind.

"My wife watched it come down. It was a good-size tree," Hardester said.

"We've got a pretty large hole in the side of the house."

The tree falling on the home was the most serious Howard County incident related to Thursday's storm, which police say caused an estimated 20 motor vehicle accidents. Three involved minor personal injury, police said.

Hardester, who was reviewing the damage Friday with an insurance adjuster, said he hopes to move back to the house in two to three weeks. In the meantime, he says his children are reacting well to the hardship.

"They seem to be excited more than anything else," he said.


A Columbia man was robbed of his wallet and watch at about 11 p.m.

Wednesday evening by two men and a woman who threatened him with a small caliber handgun, county police said.

The victim, age 25, reported that he was getting out of his car in the 5400 block of Stevens Forest Road when three people approached him. One of the two men displayed a gun and told the man to hand over his valuables, police said.

After taking the wallet and watch, all three people fled on foot, police said. No injuries were reported.

* A compilation of some of the crimes reported to state police and Howard County police:


9400 block Farewell Road, Oakland Mills: Oct. 15, a 1989 Toyota Celica was reported stolen at 8 a.m. from a residential parking lot.

10200 block Hickory Ridge Road, Hickory Ridge: Oct. 14, a 1989 Mazda 323 was reported stolen at 8 a.m. from a residential parking lot.

5200 block West Running Brook Road, Wilde Lake: Oct. 11, a man indecently exposed himself to a woman at 12:15 a.m. while standing outside a window of her home.

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