The Howard County District Courthouse was evacuated for about an hour yesterday after a court commissioner received a telephone threat that someone had planted a bomb in the building, county police said.

Police say an unidentified woman called the commissioner's office at11:20 a.m. and said she had placed an explosive device somewhere in the courthouse. The woman demanded $300,000 and then hung up without saying where to leave the money, police said.

A police dog trained to find explosives searched the building without result, police said. The call was an apparent prank, said Sgt. Gary L. Gardner, a county police spokesman.


County police are asking for help from the public inlocating a man who raped an Ellicott City woman last week and who may have been prowling around the neighborhood for several days.

Therape, which occurred at a Waverly Woods Drive residence, occurred shortly after 8 p.m. when a man forced his way into the home of a 28-year-old woman.

Police say a resident of a nearby neighborhood reported seeing a man matching the suspect's description on the previous evening. The man seemed to be peeking in windows in the neighborhood, police said.

On the night of the rape, police say two burglaries and one attempted burglary were reported along Waverly Woods Drive. The thief stole small amounts of cash and electronic equipment.

Anyone with information on the rape or the burglaries is asked to call county police at 313-2266 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 276-8888.


CAPTION: RAPE SUSPECT Police sketch of Ellicott City rapist


A Prince George's County Circuit Court judge set a $250,000 bond yesterday for Carl William Morris Jr., 33, a Columbia resident and Baltimore police officer,charged with child abuse and first-degree murder in the death of his19-month-old son.

Morris, of the 6400 block of Barchink Place in Columbia, was arrested on Jan. 25 and is accused of beating to death his son, Christopher.

Last week, he posted the $100,000 bond set by Howard County District Court Judge, James N. Vaughan.

At the time of his arrest on murder charges, Morris was suspended from the Baltimore City police force without pay after being booked in Prince George's county last fall on charges of assault with intent to disable.

Morris was free on personal recognizance on the assault charge.

Upon hearing that Morris had posted bond after the murder charge, thePrince George's county state's attorney's office requested that Morris' personal recognizance be revoked and bail be set for the assault charge.

"If he's out on a personal recognizance he should not get bail for a second action," said Prince George's county assistant state's attorney Richard Trunnell, who is handling Morris' assault case.

Trunnell said Prince George's county District Court Judge Steven Platt's decision to set Morris' bond at $250,000 was "appropriate."


An 18-year-old Columbia woman wasarrested on charges of attempted armed robbery Saturday evening after a High's store clerk wrestled a gun away from a robber during a hold-up, county police said.

Sylvia D. Redding, 18, of the 7200 blockof Talisman Lane, was arrested at 8:30 p.m. at the store, in the 6800 block of Cradlerock Way in Columbia. The clerk of the store summoned police after hitting an alarm button, police said.

A 14-year-oldColumbia juvenile, who accompanied the suspect into the store and ran off when the struggle began, was arrested at his home shortly afterthe incident, police said.

Police say the clerk knocked the gun, which turned out to be a BB pistol, out of the suspect's hands moments after she announced the robbery. He then hit the alarm and began struggling with her, police said.


County police are investigating an armed robbery that occurred Friday night in Waterloo when an Exxon station on U.S. 1 was held up by two men.

The incident occurred shortly before 8:30 when two men entereda gas station in the 7900 block and ordered an employee to hand overmoney, police said. One of the men was armed with a dark-colored handgun.

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