A 68-year-old Fallstaff man is being held without bond and facing four counts of first-degree assault after police say he used a shotgun to confront a group of people who he said had been setting off fireworks in his Northwest Baltimore community.
Richard Lowitz was arrested by Baltimore Police on Saturday night after the incident, which occurred in the 3400 block of Clarks Lane.
Police said in charging documents that they were called to the area around 9:30 p.m. for a report that a man had driven into the parking lot near Northwest High School and pointed a shotgun at a group of people who were congregating. He threatened them about setting off fireworks, and then used the butt of the gun to break out the driver’s side front window of a vehicle, police said.
Lowitz got into his vehicle to leave and was pursued by the victims, who later told officers they wanted to get his vehicle description and give his location to police.
“Fearing imminent danger” members of the group “physically confronted Mr. Lowitz during which time Mr. Lowitz sustained injuries,” police wrote in charging documents. Lowitz suffered lacerations to his arms and head, but declined medical attention.
Police said the victims and Lowitz did not previously know each other.
Officers detained Lowitz, and said he told them that he did point his shotgun at the victims and returned it to his apartment. Police obtained a search warrant and found an SKB model 900 12-gauge shotgun, against a wall where Lowitz told them it would be.
At a bail review hearing, an attorney representing Lowitz said that the gun was unloaded and that he was upset that people had been setting off fireworks for a week. The attorney said Lowitz works at a brokerage firm.
Fireworks have been set off nightly for weeks across Baltimore, prompting heavy complaints from many residents while others say it’s a nuisance that should be shrugged off and does not merit a police response or confrontations.