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'Chuckie' held for testing


A man charged with sexual child abuse and convicted of assault and battery six years ago is undergoing a police-ordered psychiatric evaluation after Glen Burnie residents alleged that he was harassing their children.

Residents of the Glenchester community, off Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard, said they are breathing easier now that they know Charles Edward Griffith, 31, will be held for at least 72 hours in a hospital in Calvert County.

"We are really happy about this," said Linda Otto, whose 14-year-old son said he was propositioned Monday by the man, who is known as "Uncle Chuckie." "People are letting their children out to play again."

Other residents said they are happy police have taken the first step, but warned that parents should not let their guard down yet.

Judy Rankin, whose son and two other boys were chased by the man Monday, said, "What's three days? Tell me he's in there for three years and I'll be relieved."

Griffith was indicted in May 1986 on charges of sexual child abuse, sex offenses and assault and battery stemming from a 1983 case, court records show.

He pleaded guilty to assault and battery in January 1987, and prosecutors dropped the other charges. County police went Tuesday to the Glen Burnie halfway house where Griffith lives to investigate numerous complaints from residents. Parents said Griffith had given the boys money and other gifts in an attempt to befriend them, asking some to accompany him to nearby woods.

Because police considered his behavior suspicious, they ordered Griffith to undergo the evaluation and brought him to North Arundel Hospital, police said yesterday.

From there, Griffith was transferred to Leland Memorial Hospital in Calvert County, where he will be undergoing tests until at least tomorrow, police said.

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