Text messages deliver woman from abductor
Police in New York state were able to rescue a kidnapped 19-year-old Glen Burnie woman with the help of text messages she secretly sent over her cell phone while her abductor drove her to Long Island, N.Y., Maryland police said.
The woman, Kelly Lazo, was abducted by her ex-boyfriend, Jose Machuca Del Cid, 23, yesterday morning shortly after she left her house, said Sgt. Michael Calvert, a spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Police Department.
Her family was alerted to the kidnapping only after she started sending text messages on her cell phone after 3 p.m. It had taken Lazo several hours to figure out where she was, police said.
The family called the police, who went to the house and monitored the subsequent messages. She indicated the highway exits the car was passing, which helped the Anne Arundel police track the car to New Jersey and then to Long Island, Calvert said. "We were getting text messages in this county, and we were relaying it on the phone to the police department in New York."
With the information, Nassau County police were able to set up roadblocks on the Long Island Expressway to intercept Del Cid's beige Toyota Camry.
The car was stopped about 8:20 p.m. near Exit 39 of the expressway, and Del Cid was arrested, Nassau County police said.
Lazo was unharmed and was waiting to be picked up by her family, the police said.
- New York Times News Service
Labor commissioner sides with chief liquor inspector
Labor Commissioner Sean R. Malone has sided with the city's chief liquor inspector, Samuel T. Daniels Jr., in a case that pitted the inspector against a majority of the Board of Liquor Commissioners.
In a decision released yesterday, Malone directed the board to pay Daniels for the month of work he missed after he was suspended March 17 by the board's executive secretary for alleged insubordination. Malone said the suspension would be cleared from Daniels' employee record.
Liquor board Executive Secretary Nathan C. Irby Jr. suspended Daniels for allegedly conducting investigations and speaking to the news media without permission. Daniels said he had permission from board Chairman Mark S. Fosler. Fosler later confirmed that he had signed off on the investigations and media contacts.
Two-day operation results in 107 arrests, 67 warrants
A two-day operation that involved nearly 100 local, state and federal officers ended yesterday in 107 arrests and 67 additional warrants served, police said.
In a initiative dubbed Operation Sunrise, officers worked from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and yesterday as part of the city's Warrant Apprehension Task Force.
Officers raided residences across the region, looking for people charged in warrants with offenses from misdemeanor handgun violations to rape and robbery.
-- William Wan and Richard Irwin
Employee of flower shop dies of gunshot wound
Police said yesterday that a flower shop employee shot Tuesday has died of his injuries and that they have determined that a man found Thursday was killed during an apparent robbery.
The body of Michael Grimes, a 27-year-old described by police as homeless, was found early Thursday on a vacant lot in the 500 block of E. 27th St., said Agent Donny Moses, a police spokesman. Grimes had suffered a cut to his forehead and several small puncture wounds to his back.
Moses also said Bobby Anderson, 35, of Just For You Flowers was pronounced dead at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Anderson was shot during a robbery Tuesday at the shop in the 5400 block of Park Heights Ave. The shop owner discovered Anderson about 1 p.m. lying unconscious and bleeding from a bullet wound to his head.
Money had been taken from the store's register. Anderson, a resident of the 2400 block of Annor Court, was taken to Sinai Hospital.
No arrests have been made in either killing, Moses said.
The deaths of Grimes and Anderson raised the city's homicide toll this year to 117, police said. At the same time last year, 120 homicides had been recorded.
Health officials order vaccine as they gear up for flu season
The Carroll County Health Department is gearing up for the fall flu season, still uncertain of the amount of vaccine it will receive and how many clinics it can schedule.
The county has ordered its standard 7,500 doses of flu vaccine for the fall clinics, increased the cost per dosage and planned inoculations in areas large enough to handle crowds. A repeat of last year's nationwide vaccine shortage is not expected, but officials are unsure whether the supply will meet the demand.
"We ordered early and we are hoping we get all of it," said Larry L. Leitch, Carroll's health officer. "Manufacturers are saying they might have to parcel out doses. We have no real specifics yet."
Leitch plans several clinics from mid-October through the end of the year at high schools and firehouses throughout the county to avoid last year's traffic tie-ups and parking problems.
The cost will increase from $15 to $20. Since many of the clinic patients are elderly, the department will set up online billing of Medicare.
-- Mary Gail Hare
Four rowhouses were damaged in an early-morning fire yesterday, fire officials said.
The blaze broke out around 4:45 a.m. in a home in the 200 block of St. Helena Ave., spreading to three adjoining rowhouses before it was contained at 5:30, said Elise Armacost, a Baltimore County Fire Department spokeswoman.
Firefighters rescued an elderly man from one of the neighboring houses, Armacost said. Two firefighters were treated at the scene for heat exhaustion.
Fire officials estimated damage at $450,000, Armacost said. She said the cause of the fire was under investigation.
- Sara Neufeld
Panel discussion planned on minority voting, economics
A panel discussion on minority voting and minority economic empowerment is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday in the sanctuary of Orchard Street Church, 512 Orchard St.
Speakers will include Raymond Haysbert, former chief executive of Park Sausages; Catherine E. Pugh, former City Council member; Dorothy Brunson, former chief executive of WEBB radio in Baltimore and WGTW-TV 48 in Philadelphia; and retired Circuit Judge Kenneth Lavon Johnson, a former director of the Justice Department's civil rights division.
The discussion is sponsored by the Baltimore Community Relations Commission as part of its celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Indecent exposure charge lodged against man, 28
Howard County police have arrested a Columbia man after a teenage jogger reported being chased by a naked man this month, authorities said.
Neftali Ibanez, 28, of the 8900 block of Footed Ridge, was arrested at his job in Ellicott City on Friday afternoon, police said. Ibanez is charged with indecent exposure and second-degree assault.
Police released a composite sketch Tuesday of the man a 15-year-old girl told police left a white pickup truck and then chased her as she was jogging on Kingsbridge Road in Ellicott City on June 1.
Investigators received a tip Thursday from someone who saw a white pickup truck following a girl in April on Breconshire Road in Ellicott City. The caller said the driver matched the description of the suspect in the June incident and that he was not wearing a shirt, said Sherry Llewellyn, a police spokeswoman.
Police are asking for the public's help in identifying the girl from the alleged incident in April. Police are also searching for any victims or witnesses who may have seen or had contact with Ibanez, who has been driving a 2001 white Chevrolet Blazer in recent months.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 410-313-3200.
- Laura Cadiz and Tyrone Richardson
Resurfacing work to start on North Avenue bridge
City transportation officials are scheduled to begin resurfacing and repair work on the North Avenue bridge Monday.
With the construction, North Avenue will be reduced to two lanes of through traffic in each direction from Howard Street to Mount Royal Avenue.
The work will prevent motorists traveling eastbound on North Avenue from turning onto northbound Howard Street. Transportation officials say eastbound North Avenue traffic trying to reach northbound Howard Street will be detoured north on Charles Street, then west on 21st Street to Howard Street.
This bridge resurfacing project is expected to be completed by the fall of 2006.
Festival honoring St. Anthony starts today in Little Italy
A festival honoring St. Anthony will be held this weekend on the streets surrounding St. Leo the Great Roman Catholic Church in Little Italy.
Events will include a ravioli dinner in the church school, bingo in the Little Italy lodge, a bocce tournament and continuous entertainment. The Monaldi Brothers Orchestra is scheduled to perform.
There also will be a variety of food for sale, including meatball subs, calzones, fried dough, pork sandwiches, pizza, pit beef and chicken parmesan.
The festival will start today from noon to 8 p.m. and tomorrow after the 9:30 a.m. Mass at St. Leo's and a procession through neighborhood streets. Parishioners at St. Leo's prayed to St. Anthony during the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904.
Lane closures set today along stretches of the JFX
Temporary lane closures are scheduled today along the northbound and southbound Jones Falls Expressway for work along the medians.
The lane closings - set for 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. - will be from North Avenue to Fayette Street.
One lane of through traffic will remain open.