Police probe attack on couple

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Annapolis police are investigating whether an incident Sunday in which a Calvert County husband and wife were injured by a crowd that threw bottles and rocks at their car in Eastport was drug-related.

After the attack on Madison Street near the Harbor House public housing neighborhood, the victims - identified by police as Gregory Louis Mercillott and Juanita Jean Mercillott - drove to the Bay Ridge Avenue fire station to seek help for head injuries, saying they had been shot, police said.

They were sent to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where Juanita Mercillott was in fair condition yesterday. Gregory Mercillott was released after receiving treatment.

Paramedics determined that the injuries were not gunshot wounds, police said.

Annapolis police spokesman Officer Hal Dalton said paramedics found a small amount of suspected crack cocaine and paraphernalia in Gregory Mercillott's shorts pocket. The couple's vehicle, a white Dodge Ram 1500, has been impounded.

The couple lives in the 4100 block of Overlook Court in Huntingtown, police said. Gregory Mercillott - who spelled his name for police as "Mercilliott" but whose name is spelled differently on his vehicle registration - originally gave a different address in the same town.

Gregory Mercillott told police he and his wife were driving home from a site on Boucher Avenue, where he was working as an independent contractor, when he was flagged down by a man on the road. He said other men approached his vehicle and tried to enter, and he heard gunshots.

Mercillott told police that as he backed up, turned around and drove away, a crowd threw rocks, bottles and bricks at the truck.

But police say eyewitnesses told them the couple pulled into a parking lot where someone approached the truck. The witnesses told police someone in the truck snatched something from a bystander's hand. The vehicle fled and bystanders then began to throw bottles and chase the truck, witnesses reported to police.

"There is a very, very strong possibility that this [incident] is drug-related," Dalton said.

The Mercillotts originally told police the attack occurred on Boucher Avenue, then later said it was at Madison and President streets.

After police found no evidence at either location, the Mercillotts said the incident happened in a parking lot in the 1100 block of Madison St., which Dalton said is consistent with evidence and with witness accounts.

No bullets or fragments have been recovered from the truck, police said.

Sun staff writer Amanda J. Crawford contributed to this article.

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