Former county police officer charged in robbery, assault on Annapolis man One attacker was dressed as clown; 2 others sought


Annapolis police arrested a former Anne Arundel County policeman yesterday on charges that he and two men -- one of whom had painted his face like a clown -- bound, beat and robbed an Annapolis man.

Paul W. Tolle, 32, of the 1800 block of Labrott Lane in Crownsville, was charged with robbery and first- and second-degree assault. He was being held last night at the county detention center on $20,000 bond.

The victim, James William Watson, 34, of the 400 block of Hammond Place, told police he had dated Tolle's former wife. He was treated Friday night at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore and was released Saturday.

Watson told police he answered a knock at his door about 8 p.m., looked through the peep hole and saw three men dressed in dark clothing. One had a 12-pack of beer and another, whose face was painted like a clown's, held a balloon, said Sgt. Alan Marshall of the city police.

One man urged Watson to let them in so they could party. When he opened the door, a man punched him in the face, knocked him to the floor, and pulled his robe over his head, police said. The men then hit and kicked him.

Watson told police he was hit in the head with a flashlight and in the leg with a dumbbell.

The men bound Watson's ankles, wrists, and mouth with duct tape, and one sat on him while the others went upstairs and took his wallet.

Watson told police he recognized one of the men as Tolle from pictures he had seen while he was dating Tolle's former wife.

Annapolis police arrested Tolle about 1: 30 a.m.

Tolle was a county police officer from 1987 to 1993, when he

resigned in good standing to open Paul Tolle and Associates, a private investigation, security and janitorial service.

Police said they had not identified other suspects in the attack.

Pub Date: 12/04/96

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