Suspect in street shooting ordered held for psychiatric evaluation; Officer who caught him gives account of capture


A District Court judge ruled yesterday that a man charged with shooting a lawyer on a downtown Baltimore street Tuesday should be held in jail without bail until a psychiatric evaluation can be conducted.

Richard Kenneth Geier, 23, is accused of chasing Jeffrey Martin Yeatman, 29, a product liability lawyer for Piper & Marbury, and firing a bullet that struck him in the shoulder. Yeatman was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was in fair condition yesterday.

Geier -- charged with attempted murder, assault and reckless endangerment -- sat stiffly in a room at the Central Booking and Intake Center as his image was broadcast by video camera to Judge Ben C. Clyburn's courtroom in Eastside District Court. Geier said nothing during the hearing.

Later in the day, Mark Baker, a Baltimore police officer working on a federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms task force, spoke at anews conference about arresting Geier two days earlier on Charles Street.

Baker said when he heard a "kapow," he thought it was a truck going over steel plates. But after the second blast, he said, he realized the sound was from a weapon.

The officer said he ran toward the noise from the federal courthouse on Lombard Street toward Charles, where he saw people screaming and pointing toward a running man. Baker followed the man down a flight of stairs and found him crouched against a wall.

"I told him I was a police officer and to put his hands up," Baker said, adding that Geier complied.

By then, the gun had been tossed away. A cabdriver, Khalid J. Malik, 41, stood watch over the weapon until police arrived.

When asked about his hero status by neighbors, church members and his four children, Baker said he told them he did something any other Baltimore patrolman would do.

He said he had no idea about his celebrity. He learned about the hoopla when his mother called him from New Jersey after she heard what he did.

"I don't have a TV so I haven't seen anything about it," he said.

Pub Date: 2/05/99

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