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CRIME WATCH

The Baltimore Sun

Inmate walks away from work crew van

An inmate with less than 18 months remaining on a prison sentence for distributing drugs walked away from a transport van at the Metropolitan Transition Center on Forrest Street yesterday afternoon, according to Maryland correctional officials.

Officials are looking for Gerard Damon, 25, who was serving a three-year term and had been housed in a minimum-security section of the prison complex north of downtown, between East Madison and Eager streets.

He was last seen wearing a gray Division of Correction jump suit with "MTC" written in white on the back. No other description was available.

Mark Vernarelli, a prison spokesman, said Damon was returning from a road crew assignment when he walked away after getting off a van at the prison complex.

Inmates who work on road crews are minimum-security inmates with little time left on their sentences, Vernarelli said. "They are not required to wear shackles or handcuffs and are authorized to work supervised job assignments in the community," Vernarelli said in a statement.

Damon was sentenced to prison last year and was scheduled to be released before the fall of 2009. Vernarelli said the suspect could face new charges once he is caught.

Woodlawn shooter described

Police yesterday released a description of one of three men wanted in a November shooting in Woodlawn.

A 46-year-old man was shot shortly before 8 p.m. Nov. 14 at Windsor Boulevard and Townbrook Drive, authorities said. The victim was inside his vehicle when he was approached by three men, one of whom pulled a handgun from his waistband and demanded the victim's cell phone and money, then shot him in the chest, police said.

The three men ran away on foot. The victim was taken to Sinai Hospital with a nonlife-threatening gunshot wound, police said.

Police have created a sketch of the gunman, who is described as 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall, slim to medium build, with gold front teeth with a design on them. The man was wearing a red bandana.

Anyone with information was asked to call county police at 410-307-2020 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 866-756-2587. Callers to Metro Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and might be eligible for a reward.

Ellie Baublitz

Man charged in child porn case

A 43-year-old secretary at the Division of Parole and Probation Office in Aberdeen has been charged with one count of possession of child pornography, authorities said yesterday.

Walter A. Hayes, of Aberdeen was arrested at his mother's home in New Castle County, Del., last week. He remains in a Delaware jail, where he is refusing extradition, authorities said.

Hayes, a clerical secretary with the agency for seven years, had his work computer confiscated as part of the investigation, said Elizabeth Bartholomew, spokeswoman for the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation.

"If he's found guilty, certainly it will affect his employment with the division," she said.

His wife, Sondra Hayes of Aberdeen, reported him to the Harford County Child Advocacy Center after finding videos of children on his home computer, according to court documents.

On Dec. 31, she filed for a protective order from Walter Hayes, saying that her husband has "anger rages" and that she feared for herself and her 24-year-old son's safety because Walter Hayes had shoved her in the past and had broken into their Aberdeen home, records stated.

In a court document, she alleged that his home computer contained more than 100 photos of children.

Sondra Hayes could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Harford County State's Attorney Joseph I. Cassilly said he did not know the number of images found on the personal computer, but the investigation continues.

Hayes could face more charges, and the case will go to the grand jury, he said.

Hayes was being held at the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in Wilmington, Del., in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Harford County officials will have to go through the governor's office to get a warrant of extradition to bring the suspect back to Maryland, Cassilly said.

Madison Park

Dundalk fire declared arson

A single-alarm fire Sunday afternoon in a Dundalk townhouse that also damaged two adjoining units was declared arson, Baltimore County fire officials said yesterday.

The fire caused an estimated $80,000 in damage to the houses in the 3400 block of Dunhaven Road, near Logan Village Shopping Center, and displaced at least two occupants who escaped the flames.

Elise Armacost, a Fire Department spokeswoman, said no injuries were reported and no arrests have been made.

Ellie Baublitz

Fake IDs bring prison term

A former Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration employee was sentenced yesterday to three years and three months in federal prison for issuing more than 150 state identification cards to people not legally in the United States, according to the U.S. attorney's office. James Edwin Harrell, 51, of Beltsville, also was ordered to serve three years of supervised probation upon his release, prosecutors said.

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