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Intended victim wounds assailantAn armed robbery in...


Intended victim wounds assailant

An armed robbery in the Mondawmin area of Baltimore ended in gunfire when the intended victim shot his assailant in the neck -- possibly paralyzing him -- and chased an accomplice.

Northwestern District Police Officer Mychael B. Thompson said two men tried to rob Matthew H. Coleman Jr., 24, of gold chains and merchandise he had just bought at Mondawmin Mall. Mr. Coleman was walking in the 3000 block of Tioga Parkway near Gwynns Falls Parkway, toward his home in the 2900 block of Elgin Ave. about 2:50 p.m. yesterday, police said.

Officer Thompson said one of the attackers had what was believed to be a starter's pistol. When the pair grabbed Mr. Coleman's chains, he fired four shots from a .25-caliber handgun, hitting one assailant once, the officer said.

Mr. Coleman chased but lost the other man. Police said Mr. Coleman received an injury to the back of his head. He was charged with assault with intent to murder and other offenses.

Police said Darnell Adams, 22, of the 3800 block of Cottage Ave., was in serious condition today at Sinai Hospital and that he may be paralyzed. Charges against him were pending.


A deliberately set fire caused an estimated $50,000 damage early today to two South Baltimore rowhouses from which tenants recently had been evicted.

Fire Department Capt. Stephan G. Fugate said the fire was set about 3 a.m. in several pieces of furniture in front of and against 1524 and 1526 Olive St., off the 1500 block of S. Hanover St. Flames from the furniture entered the two vacated houses and destroyed their interiors.

Officer Charles Bealefeld, of the Southern police district, said residents of 1524 Olive St. were evicted over the weekend because the owner found out they were using the place for drugs.


Montgomery County Executive Neal Potter is about to shelve a widely publicized plan intended to help the county's troubled construction industry.

He attributed the plan's apparent demise to uncooperative developers and County Council members, who balked at a new tax on construction and an increase in the taxes people pay to record land deeds and mortgages.

"The failure of the council to act on it and the opposition of the industry we are trying to help has left it inactive," Mr. Potter said. He said he is still hoping that one part of the plan -- a county loan fund to help developers pay for road improvements -- will provide some relief to the industry.


A 30-year-old Ocean City police officer was released from Peninsula Regional Medical Center yesterday after receiving serious facial injuries while trying to make an off-duty drug arrest Saturday.

Two men and a juvenile from Wilmington, Del., were charged with marijuana-related offenses in the incident near Third Street and Baltimore Avenue in Ocean City about 4:45 a.m. Saturday.

Anne Arundel

County plumbers and electricians are suing, claiming that licensing fees imposed on them are illegal.

The Master Plumbing Association and the Master Electricians Association allege that the county exceeded its authority in imposing the fees. The two groups sued Thursday in Circuit Court, asking that the fees be declared invalid and the money returned.

County Executive Robert R. Neall, who proposed the package of new fees and increases, and the seven-member County Council, which adopted it, were named as co-defendants.

The County Council adopted legislation two months ago creating or increasing 92 fees and licenses, including several for tradesmen such as electricians, mechanics, and plumbers. The intent was to offset the cost of expanding property tax credits for homeowners with low-to-moderate incomes.

But Harvey A. Epstein, attorney for the plaintiffs, said the fees amount to a tax on trade, which he said is illegal. A Neall spokeswoman declined comment until the complaint could be reviewed.


The man charged with the shooting death of Melrose hardware store owner Charles W. Therit Jr. appeared briefly in Circuit Court last week so his lawyer could deal with a legal technicality.

Michael C. Bryson, 25, charged with murder, armed robbery and theft in the March 25 killing of Mr. Therit, appeared in court with his attorneys to ensure that all tape-recorded phone conversations between police and informants were preserved.

His attorneys acknowledged that police had not taped most of the conversations. The state's attorney's office already has given all of the tapes it says it knows of to Mr. Bryson's legal team.

The slaying -- the county's only homicide this year -- stunned Melrose residents. Many speculated that someone from outside the community killed Mr. Therit.

Mr. Bryson's family, like the Therit family, lives in the Melrose area and is well known by other residents in the community.


Reconstruction of West Ring Factory Road between Md. 924 and 24 south of Bel Air was scheduled to begin today. The road will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays for about six months.

West Ring Factory Road is a major connector between the two highways, and motorists are asked to use Bel Air South Parkway in Emmorton as an alternative route.

Work includes widening the roadway, installing storm drains, curbs and a sidewalk along one side, and placing utility lines underground.

Crouse Construction Co. of Joppa, which bid $815,000, received the county contract for the project. Utility line replacement is expected to raise the total construction cost to just under $1 million.


A Columbia man flying from Ohio to Maryland yesterday crashed his plane into a field in West Virginia's Pleasants County after clipping an antique shop's roof.

Sherman D. Taffel, 46, of the 6000 block of Jamina Downs, was in fair condition at St. Joseph's Hospital in Parkersburg, W. Va.

Federal officials said Mr. Taffel was the only person aboard the single-engine four-seat Aero Commander. He was flying from West Union, Ohio, to Frederick, Md., when he reported engine failure about 12:30 p.m., seven miles east of Parkersburg, officials said.

The plane made it another seven miles to the east, to St. Marys, W.Va., where witnesses said the pilot tried to land on W.Va. 2 but was unable to because of traffic.

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