Enchanted Forest fire ruled to be arson
The State Fire Marshal's Office has ruled that arson was the cause of a one-alarm fire that resulted in $40,000 damage to Cinderella's Castle at the Enchanted Forest early last week.
"The specifics can't be released," said Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Allen Ward. He would say only that an investigation determined the fire was intentionally set.
No one has been charged in connection with the blaze.
The fire was reported about 1 a.m. Tuesday. Firefighters determined that the blaze started in the roof of the castle and spread to the first floor.
Thirty-five firefighters from eight units brought the fire under control about 1:30 a.m. before it could spread to other buildings at the park. No one was injured.
The fire is the second to be declared an arson at the park in two years.
In January 1990, two juveniles were charged with setting a fire to Robin Hood's barn. The barn was destroyed.
The park was scheduled to reopen this summer after three years of renovations, but the opening has been postponed to allow more time for preparation, said co-owner Jeffrey S. Pechter.
The park is to reopen next summer, but the fire might delay the opening of Cinderella's Castle, Pechter said.
Driver, passenger injured in collision
Howard County police said a 27-year-old Elkridge driver crossed the the center line on Thunderhill Road Tuesday night and collided head-on with a commuter bus, injuring himself and his passenger.
None of the passengers on the bus was injured, police said.
Kevin Ray Miller, a 28-year-old Baltimore man who was a passenger in the car, was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he is listed in fair and stable condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.
The car's driver, Ira Snell, was also transported to Shock Trauma but was discharged the next day, the hospital spokeswoman said.
At about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Snell's northbound Nissan 240 SX crossed the double yellow lines on Thunderhill Road, just north of Tie Sweep Lane, and struck the southbound commuter bus, police said.
Police said they don't know what caused the car to cross the line.
An investigation continues.
Armed pair robs Columbia salon
Howard County police said they are searching for two robbers, one armed with a silver handgun, who held up an employee in a Columbia beauty salon.
At 8 a.m. Tuesday, an employee of the salon was preparing to open the business in the 6400 block of Dobbin Center Way when two men entered. One man displayed a handgun, police said.
The armed robber demanded money from the worker while his accomplice stood at the door. The employee complied and handed over an undisclosed amount of money, police said.
The robbers then fled and were seen running toward a field behind the business, police said.
The woman was unharmed.
The suspect who displayed the weapon is described as a dark-skinned black man in his 20s, 5-foot-6 with a stocky build and a gold front tooth. He wore a maroon jacket.
The second suspect is described as a light-skinned black man in his 20s, 5-foot-10. He had a fade haircut and was wearing a white shirt and blue jeans.
3 are charged in assault on woman
Two men and a teen-ager are being held on charges of breaking into a 62-year-old woman's home and making her sign blank personal checks for more than $1,000. The three remain in the county detention center on bonds ranging from $50,000 to $250,000.
One of the suspects, Brian James Everett, 18, of the unit block of Perry Falls Place in Parkville, is the woman's nephew, police said. He is being held on $250,000 bond.
Thorough Hope Cross, 18, of Baltimore, is also being held on $250,000 bond. Jeffrey David Wright, 17, of Owings Mills, who is being charged as an adult, is being held on $50,000 bond.
Police said they have been charged with armed robbery, burglary, theft, handgun violations, check fraud and assault with intent to murder.
At 4:30 a.m. Thursday, police said the three men -- two armed with handguns -- awakened the woman in her home in the 2300 block of Daniels Road and forced her to sign several blank checks.
Once inside, the burglars cut the telephone lines, police said.
After the woman endorsed the checks, the three tied her up, ransacked her home and fled in her gray 1988 Oldsmobile 98, police said.
After freeing herself, the woman telephoned police from a neighbor's home.
Cross was arrested after 10 a.m. Thursday outside the Commercial and Farmers Bank in the 8100 block of Main St. in Ellicott City after he allegedly tried to cash a check the woman had endorsed, police said.
The Oldsmobile was found later that afternoon at the Normandy Shopping Center on Baltimore National Pike, police said.
Also later that day, police arrested Everett at his aunt's home. Wright was arrested at his home in Owings Mills, police said.
2 teen-age girls charged in robbery
Howard County police have charged two young women with holding a knife to a 17-year-old's throat and stealing his grandmother's car.
The teen-agers, 15 and 16, were charged with armed robbery and theft. The older teen-ager was also charged with aggravated assault, police said. They have been released to the custody of their parents.
Police said the robbery occurred at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the 8800 block of Flowerstock Row at Tamar Drive in Columbia as the 17-year-old youth arrived to visit a friend.
The two young women approached him as he pulled up in his grandmother's 1992 Toyota Camry. One opened a passenger door, entered the car and tried to remove the keys from the ignition, police said.
When the driver tried to stop her, she pulled out a large knife and held it to his throat, ordering him out of the car, police said. The other young woman climbed into the car.
The two then drove away in the Camry, police said.
Police said the youth recognized the two girls from summer school and reported the auto theft from a friend's house.
Using that information, police arrested the two teen-agers about 9 p.m. The suspects told officers they had abandoned the car at the Long Reach Village Center, police said. Police recovered the car there.
* Here are other crimes reported to Howard County police:
8700 block of Cloudleap Court: June 24, someone threw a brick through a kitchen window and entered an apartment. Nothing was taken.
8700 block of Hayshed Lane: June 20, someone pried open a sliding door and stole a videocassette recorder and television.
7500 block of Swan Point Way: June 23, someone entered an unlocked door and stole a stereo, camera, undisclosed amount of cash and portable CD player. The resident spotted the burglar as he was leaving. The burglar is described as a black man in his 20s, 5-foot-9 and stocky. He was wearing a scarf and carrying a colorful bag, police said.
6300 block of Red Haven Road: June 25, someone stole a purse, which was later recovered in a yard. The keys and the owner's black 1991 Honda Accord were taken. The Maryland plates are ZTN-642.
10600 block of Quarterstaff Road: June 24, someone tried to enter a residence, but was deterred by an audible alarm.
8700 block of Hayshed Lane: June 21, someone stole a red 1986 Audi 5000 with Maryland plates, PNV-161.
8900 block of Tamar Drive: June 23, someone broke a window, entered the residence and stole a videocassette recorder, stereo and bag.
6100 block of Waiting Spring: June 22, someone entered a garage and stole a bicycle.
5500 block of Mystic Court: June 23, someone broke a window, and entered a residence and stole a videocassette recorder and cameras.
5500 block of Mystic Court: June 23, someone pried opened a sliding window and stole a camcorder, videocassette recorder, jewelry and an undisclosed amount of cash.
8800 block of Flower Stock Row: Between June 22 and June 23, someone stole a black 1986 Honda Shadow motorcycle. The Maryland plates are 628310.
6600 block of Santa Barbara Court: June 22, someone broke glass at the Mace Construction Services Inc. building.
6600 block of Santa Barbara Court: June 22, someone broke a window, entered Leggs Products and stole a television, fax machine and videocassette recorder.
7400 block of Montgomery Road: June 23, someone stole a 1986 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
9000 block of Early April Way: June 25, someone cut open a sliding screen door and stole a telephone and videocassette recorder.