Police and fire scan



WESTMINSTER - State police arrested two men Friday, charging them with breaking and entering and theft of over $300 in connection with the burglary of a home north of the city that was under construction.

Alan Lee Rill, 21, of Old Hanover Road, Boring, was released from police custody on his own recognizance after being arrested at his home.

Douglas Smith, 23, of Young Way in Westminster, turned himself into state police at about 11:45 p.m., police said. He was released on$15,000 bond.

The break-in occurred Jan. 6 after a key from a Realtor's box was used to enter the home, police said.

Smith had beenemployed as a real estate agent for a Westminster Realtor before thetheft, police said.

Items stolen from the house include an air compressor, a generator and coil nailer and a power saw. Police said all the items were recovered.


TANEYTOWN -- About 25 robed members of the Ku Klux Klan marched through this north Carroll town Saturday night after a rally in Rocky Ridge, Frederick County, state police said.

Police said the march occurred at about 8:30 p.m. The Klansmen and a group of younger people dressed in camouflage walked down the streets carrying billy clubs and night sticks.

The march was uneventful and the Klansmen dispersed after state police 1st Lt. Kenneth L. Tregoning talked with one of them, police said.

Police said they believed the group was protesting a town ordinance designed requiring marchers to register with the town.


WESTMINSTER -- A preliminary hearing for a 31-year-old Mount Airy resident accused of shooting and killing his wife isscheduled for this afternoon in Carroll District Court.

Edwin F. Downs Jr., a deliveryman for the Washington Post in Montgomery County, is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter, using a handgun in the commission of a felony, and battery.

He is being held without bail at the Carroll County Detention Center.

AnneRita Downs, 30, was found dead at 4 a.m. Dec. 19 in a second-floor bedroom of the couple's colonial home in the Candice Estates housing development.

Police believe Edwin Downs "planned and premeditated" the slaying of his wife, according to Carroll State's Attorney ThomasE. Hickman.


Two county men were arrested over the weekend and charged with assault in separate domestic disputes, area police said.

State police in Westminster were called toa home in the 1000 block of Hemlock Lane at about 10:45 p.m. Sunday by Teresa Ann Mercado.

Mercado told police that her husband, 41-year-old Arnaldo Mercado, hit her in the back of the head with a piece of a wooden bedpost during an argument, police reports said.

He then chased her with a butcher knife before she was able to run to her landlord's apartment, police said.

Arnaldo Mercado was charged with assault with intent to murder, using a weapon with intent to maim, and two misdemeanor assault charges.

He was being held late Tuesday at the Carroll County Detention Center on $10,000 bail.

In a separate incident at 12:51 a.m. Monday, Westminster City police responded to a report of a domestic assault at a town house on West George Street.

Tania L. Pittinger told police that her boyfriend, 33-year-old John F. Thomas, hit her on the arm and face.

Pittinger also told police Thomas had pushed his brother through a window and pointed a9mm rifle at him to make him leave the apartment, police said.

When police arrived at Thomas' apartment, he pointed a gun at Sgt. Steven L. Shatzer, police reports said.

Thomas was charged with assault and battery and two counts of carrying a deadly weapon with intent to injure.

He was released from the Carroll County Detention Center after posting bail.


WESTMINSTER -- A Carroll grand jury has indicted two Taneytown residents and a Florida man on charges that they operated a cocaine ring from September 1989 to December 1989.

Fernando A. Hernandez, 28, and his wife, Bonnie, 28, of Windy Hills Drive in Taneytown, were arrested last Thursday night by members of the Carroll County Narcotics Task Force.

Also arrested was Henry A. Hernandez, 26, of Miami, Fla. He is the brother of Fernando Hernandez.

The Hernandez brothers were being held late Tuesday at the Carroll County Detention Center on $300,000 bail. Bonnie Hernandez was released from jail on $50,000 bond, officials said.

The grand jury indicted the three on 20 drug counts, including the state's drug kingpin statute.

If convicted under the statute, the Hernandez brothers could face a minimum of 20 years in prison.

Bonnie Hernandez was not charged under the drug kingpin statute.

The Hernandez brothers were arrested in December when their car was stoppedby members of the drug task force and 6 ounces of cocaine were found.

Assistant State's Attorney Barton F. Walker III said more arrests are pending in the case.

Here is a compilation of the fire and rescue calls to the Emergency Operations Center:

Jan. 21

3:34 a.m., Hampstead and Manchester responded to a fire alarm on Hampstead-Mexico Road.

11:14 a.m., Sykesville had a smoke investigation on Ridge Road.

11:54 a.m., Westminster and Reese responded to a kitchen fire on West Green Street.

4:39 p.m., Sykesville responded to abrush fire on Hoods Mill Road.

6:36 p.m., Lineboro responded to a chimney fire on Slab Ridge Road.

6:41 p.m., New Windsor responded to a chimney fire on Clunsonville Road.

Jan. 22

2:35 a.m., Mount Airy assisted Montgomery County on a house fire on Bethel Church Road.

5:13 a.m., Union Bridge, New Windsor, New Midway and Woodsboro responded to smoke in apartments on North Main Street in Union Bridge.

5:45 a.m., Mount Airy, Lisbon and Damascus responded to a chimney fire.

9:05 a.m., Hampstead responded to a pickup truck fire onShiloh Avenue.

11:46 a.m., Westminster and Reese responded to an automatic alarm on East Green Street.

1:12 p.m., Westminster and Reese responded to a chimney fire on Ridge Road.

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