CRIME WATCH

The Baltimore Sun

Reward offered for lead in fatal Carroll hit-and-run

The Westminster Police Department offered a $1,000 reward yesterday for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the hit-and-run crash last week that killed a McDaniel College student near the campus. Police were searching for the driver of a Ford pickup truck that slammed into a Chevrolet Cavalier on Friday night, killing the driver, sophomore Thomas Rouleau of Gilboa, N.Y., and injuring four other passengers, all McDaniel students. The injured students were taken to area hospitals where they were treated and released. The driver of the pickup fled the scene. Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call the department's main number, 410-848-4646, or the 24-hour TIPS Line, 410-857-8477.

Joe Burris

Public Works Department warns of theft scheme

Baltimore's Department of Public Works is warning the public that criminals posing as water department employees have been entering homes and stealing items. Baltimore County police are investigating after a man posing as an inspector went to a home in the 1500 block of Marsha Road in Arbutus about 2:30 p.m. Friday and convinced the resident that he was there to check for leaks. After the man left, the resident discovered that personal property was missing. The city says public works employees will come to a home only if you have requested assistance and scheduled an appointment. They cannot enter your home without permission, and you should ask to see a Baltimore City employee identification card with a photograph.

Liz F. Kay

2 arrested, 1 sought in Harford bank robberies

Harford County sheriff's deputies said yesterday that they had arrested two suspects in the robbery of Cecil Bank in Havre de Grace and were continuing to search for the man who robbed Harford Bank in Abingdon. Both robberies occurred Monday. Patrick Leon Dixon III, 20, and Keith Burton Osterman, 26, both of Caroline County, were charged with armed robbery and conspiracy in the Havre de Grace robbery and were being held without bond, officials said. Deputies said a man entered the bank in the 1600 block of Pulaski Highway at 12:37 p.m. with a sawed-off shotgun and handed a teller a note demanding money. A witness saw the man leaving the bank in a red pickup truck, Havre de Grace police said. Police stopped a red pickup moments later, police said. Osterman was at the wheel and Dixon was in the passenger seat, police said. Meanwhile, sheriff's deputies were seeking an unidentified man in his 20s for questioning in the robbery of Harford Bank in the 2900 block of Emmorton Road in Abingdon about 11:30 a.m. Police said the man implied that he had a weapon and ran from the scene. Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to call the Harford County Sheriff's Office at 410-836-5442.

Jonathan Pitts

Harford sheriff's deputy found not guilty of assault

A decorated Harford County sheriff's deputy accused of pushing a prostitute down a flight of stairs after she had performed sexual acts at a bachelor party he was attending was found not guilty on all charges yesterday by a city judge. Jeffrey Gerres, 30, of Rising Sun, a member of the sheriff's office's violent street crimes unit and the Baltimore Sun's Officer of the Year in community service, was found not guilty by District Court Judge C. Yvonne Holt-Stone on charges of second-degree assault and one count of allowing a person into a building for prostitution. The woman, Denise L. Rothwell, told authorities that early Sept. 7 a group of men approached her, one showed a police badge, and asked her to join a party in a home on O'Donnell Street. Rothwell said she was offered $100 to perform a sex act on the bachelor, but then the man with the badge demanded the money back and pushed her down the stairs. Gerres immediately filed a counter-complaint, alleging that Rothwell hit him in the eye after he rejected her advances. According to prosecutors, Holt-Stone reasoned that Gerres wouldn't have shown Rothwell his badge had he been involved with picking up a prostitute, and found that he acted in self-defense. Gerres' counter-complaint against Rothwell was dropped by prosecutors last month.

Justin Fenton

Man enters Alford plea in negligent homicide case

A West Virginia man charged with negligent homicide while impaired after an accident last summer in Howard County entered an Alford plea yesterday in Circuit Court. Joel Wareham, 22, of Martinsburg, W.Va., was traveling on Frederick Road in Lisbon on Aug. 14 when the 2006 BMW he was driving crossed the double-yellow line and struck a 2001 Ford Explorer head-on, prosecutors said. The driver of the Ford, Milton Bowens Sr., 64, of Mount Airy, was pronounced dead at the scene. Three passengers in Bowens' van were treated for injuries, as was a passenger in Wareham's car. Wareham was briefly hospitalized for injuries he suffered. Under an Alford plea, a defendant concedes that the state has enough evidence to convict but does not admit guilt. Wareham faces up to two years in jail under sentencing guidelines. The state is recommending an 18-month sentence. Wareham is scheduled to be sentenced April 16.

Don Markus

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