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Fire outside office of councilwoman was set,...


Fire outside office of councilwoman was set, officials say

A fire on the back porch outside the Glen Burnie law office of County Councilwoman Cathleen M. Vitale was being investigated as a case of arson yesterday by county fire officials.

The fire was set on the rear porch of the one-story building in the 300 block of N. Crain Highway about 9 p.m. Tuesday, said Battalion Chief John M. Scholz, a Fire Department spokesman.

Vitale, a Severna Park Republican, said it appeared to have been started in a box used for overnight mail. The fire was contained to the porch, but smoke caused an estimated $5,000 damage to the law office of the firm of Henault and Sysko.

Vitale, who was notified of the fire during Tuesday's council meeting, said there was no indication it was targeted at her or her four colleagues in the law firm.

"I don't think I have any clients or constituents who would do anything like this," she said. "It could have been vandals; it could have been a bunch of kids."

Police seek driver of SUV for questioning in shooting

The driver of a smoke-blue sport utility vehicle seen near Provinces Park on Friday was being sought by county police yesterday for questioning in connection with the fatal shooting of a 36-year-old Pioneer City man.

The victim, Stewart Anthony Garfield, was found dead in the park Sunday morning.

Police said a gunshot was heard in the area about midday on Friday, and the vehicle -possibly a Honda Passport or Nissan Pathfinder-was seen near the park about the same time.

Anyone with information about the driver of the car or the slaying is asked to call Detective H. H. Hasenpusch at 410-222-3460, or the homicide unit's confidential tip line at 410-923-4543.

Mother charged after 1-year-old falls from car

A Lothian woman was charged with a traffic violation of failure to restrain her daughter in a safety seat after the 1-year-old fell out of a moving car and was injured Tuesday morning, Anne Arundel County police reported.

Rhonda Miller told police that she had put daughter Victoria on the front seat, and was driving no faster than 5 mph as she headed from a friend's home to her own in the Lyons Creek mobile home park when the door opened and the girl fell out.

Victoria was released after treatment at Southern Maryland Hospital for abrasions to her feet and hands, police said yesterday.

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