Suspect in rape surrenders


A 26-year-old East Baltimore man accused in one of two sexual attacks that have terrorized office workers in Towson and Pikesville turned himself in yesterday at a Baltimore County police station.

Arthur Christian Rogers of the 1600 block of N. Milton Ave. walked into the Woodlawn Precinct at 12:15 p.m. -- two days after television stations began broadcasting his name, description and photograph, said E. Jay Miller, a county police spokesman.

Officers focused on Mr. Rogers on Thursday after police sketches of a suspect were circulated throughout Towson and Pikesville. Mr. Miller said a tipster called to say the sketch looked like Mr. Rogers.

A Towson lawyer who was raped in her office while working late Oct. 14 picked Mr. Rogers' picture from a photo lineup, Mr. Miller said.

Police charged Mr. Rogers with rape and a related sexual offense, assault with intent to murder and robbery in the attack on the lawyer.

Mr. Miller said investigators were looking for links to the Oct. 4 rape of another lawyer in her Pikesville office. No charge was lodged yesterday in that attack.

Mr. Rogers, wearing a brown leather jacket and a baseball cap, appeared in Towson yesterday for a bail hearing. When asked by reporters if he had surrendered, Mr. Rogers nodded, but said nothing.

A court commissioner denied bail pending a review hearing in Catonsville District Court today.

For the past two weeks, office workers in Towson and Pikesville have lived in fear of a man who was wandering the hallways of high-rise office buildings, during the day and after normal working hours, asking for people and businesses that did not exist.

Many people reported seeing the man, or finding him inside their offices. In one case, a female employee found the man in her office upon returning from a restroom. She asked him to leave, and locked the door after he left. But seconds later, the man was trying to get back inside the office, while cursing the woman.

In the attack on the Towson lawyer, the victim reported that she went into a conference room about 7 p.m. and found a man there. He asked for a "Mr. Brown," and when she said she did not know a Mr. Brown, the man pointed to a black briefcase and said, "Yes, you do."

"He grabbed her throat with one hand and said he could kill her," county police Detective Karen Gentry wrote in charging documents filed in District Court yesterday. "He said he could kill her before anyone could save her."

Mr. Miller said the charge of attempted murder was lodged because the assailant "choked that victim at least twice until, she said, she almost passed out."

The victim also was robbed of a small sum of money, police said.

Throughout Towson, fear and rumors spread about the assailant, and unfounded reports of him attacking or raping numerous other victims circulated last week. On Friday, police helicopters circled the Towson business district after a report that a suspect had been spotted.

"We had reports that he was in Woodlawn, Towson and Essex all at the same time," Cpl. Rick Lisko said Friday. After surrendering yesterday, Mr. Rogers was interviewed by police officers including Detective Gentry, who had drawn the sketch of the suspect.

"He told them he thought the sketch was terrible," Mr. Miller said. "It was so bad, it helped us find him."

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