Baltimore police publicly identified yesterday a suspect in connection with the rape of one woman and the sexual assault of another in Charles Village - news that the director of the neighborhood association said would help ease fears in the community.
Authorities are searching for Marlow Humbert, 44, of the 2800 block of Brighton St. in West Baltimore. Police said he has been charged in a warrant with first-degree rape, a first-degree sex offense and first-degree assault. "He should be considered armed and dangerous," reads a police poster that includes the suspect's picture.
The attacks - in the 2600 block of St. Paul St. on March 5 and four blocks to the south on April 30 - unnerved residents living in the neighborhood north of downtown, near the Johns Hopkins University campus.
City police assigned an extra foot patrol officer to the area, and a citizens patrol group focused its attention on the St. Paul Street corridor. The community association sent out e-mail warnings and distributed a composite sketch that police had made based on the description of the attacker from the two victims.
David Hill, the executive director of the Charles Village Community Benefits District, said yesterday that he would also distribute the latest bulletin from police.
"This will be something of a relief to many people," he said. "Rape is one of those particularly brutal and emotional kinds of crime. People are concerned, and rightfully so."
City police released few details about the suspect or how detectives learned his identity. Court records show that he was convicted of possessing marijuana in 2003 and sentenced to six months in jail. He was charged with three counts of burglary last year, but the city state's attorney's office dropped the charges in August. A spokeswoman said information on the case was not available yesterday.
Police said the March 5 attack occurred about 9 p.m. when a man with a knife attacked a woman as she was about to enter her apartment. Police said the man threw her down the hallway and tried to rape her when she screamed for help. The man ran when the victim's roommate opened the apartment door.
On April 30, police said a woman who lives in the 2200 block of St. Paul St. was raped at gunpoint by a man who followed the victim into her apartment, asked her for money and attacked her on her couch.
Crime overall in the Northern District, which includes Charles Village, has dropped this year, according to police. Some categories have gone up, including auto thefts and robberies.
Hill, the community association head, said residents in Charles Village are pleased with the recent crime reductions and enforcement efforts, which he said include increased patrols and support for crime prevention programs, such as community walks.