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  1. Baltimore County District Courts and Circuit Court are closing at 1 p.m. today....

    Baltimore County District Courts and Circuit Court are closing at 1 p.m. today. http://ow.ly/EWmjJ ^JW
    2014-11-26T17:43:28+00:00http://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreCountyPoliceandFire/posts/893231357353663
  2. Baltimore County Police detectives are continuing to investigate a shooting in G...

    Baltimore County Police detectives are continuing to investigate a shooting in Gwynn Oak in December 2013 that left a man deceased.

    The family of the victim is offering an additional $1,000.00 through Metro Crime Stoppers for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in this case.

    The full release is available on our news blog:
    www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/PoliceNews/iWatch/DetectivesContinuetoInvestigateDecember2013ShootingThatLeftManDeceased


    Detectives Continue to Investigate December 2013 Shooting That Left Man Deceased
    www.baltimorecountymd.gov
    The Baltimore County Police Department is continuing to investigate a homicide that occurred in December 2013. The family of the victim has added $1000 to the Metro Crime Stoppers reward.
    2014-11-26T14:40:19+00:00http://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreCountyPoliceandFire/posts/893142927362506
  3. 2014-11-26T11:21:07+00:00http://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreCountyPoliceandFire/posts/893063084037157
  4. Criminal Justice Coordinating Council meeting scheduled December 9 in Towson htt...

    Criminal Justice Coordinating Council meeting scheduled December 9 in Towson http://ow.ly/ESTll ^JH


    Criminal Justice Coordinating Council Meeting Scheduled December 9
    www.baltimorecountymd.gov
    The next meeting of the Baltimore County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council is scheduled Tuesday, December 9, 8 a.m., in the Executive...
    2014-11-25T20:22:08+00:00http://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreCountyPoliceandFire/posts/892780324065433

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Police and Fire News

Baltimore County Police and Fire News

Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
Keyword: dundalk

UPDATE (September 26):

Baltimore County Police have charged 43-year-old Stephen Michael Cooke Jr with conspiracy to commit witness intimidation in connection with his trial on murder charges.

On April 20, 2000, the body of 24-year-old Heidi Bernadzikowski was found on her home in the 2000 block of Codd Avenue in Dundalk. The autopsy of her body concluded that the cause of death was strangulation and a cutting wound to her neck. The manner of death was homicide.

Detectives conducted a thorough investigation; however, they were not able to develop any information which led to the positive identification of a suspect and the case went cold.

In January 2012, detectives got the break they needed when evidence pointed to, Alexander Bennett (34). Further investigation led to the arrest of, Grant Lewis (35).

Homicide detectives never gave up on this case and in March of this year, the arrest of Bennett and Lewis provided the necessary link to also arrest Stephen Cooke, Heidi Bernadzikowski's boyfriend, for her murder.

Investigators later discovered that Stephen Cooke was attempting to hire another inmate at the Baltimore County Detention Center to harm Grant Lewis to prevent him from testifying. Stephen Cooke has been charged with conspiracy to commit witness intimidation and conspiracy to commit first degree assault. He is being held without bail on those charges.

Original release (March 21):

Fourteen years after the murder of 24-year-old Heidi Bernadzikowski in her Dundalk townhome, Baltimore County Police homicide detectives have arrested and charged her boyfriend with hiring someone to kill her.

This week, Stephen Michael Cooke Jr., 43, of the 1000 block of Englishman Harbour, Pasadena, 21122, was charged with first-degree murder. He was arrested in Anne Arundel County and is held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

Police have believed almost from the beginning of this case that Cooke -- who was the victim's boyfriend and lived with her in the 2000 block of Codd Avenue -- conspired to kill Ms. Bernadzikowski, but detectives have been unable to prove his involvement. A breakthrough came recently, when one of the co-conspirators -- Alexander Charles Bennett, 34, of Greeley, Colorado -- identified Cooke as the person behind the murder. Bennett is in the Baltimore County Detention Center, awaiting trial.

Bennett was charged with first-degree murder in January 2012 after police discovered DNA evidence linking him to the crime. The investigation shows that Cooke hired Bennett and another conspirator, Grant A. Lewis, also of Colorado, to kill Bernadzikowski. Cooke wanted to collect a $700,000 insurance policy he had purchased on the victim months earlier, police believe.

Lewis, 35, of the 2500 block of Locust Street, Denver, Co., was arrested in Baltimore this week and is charged with conspiracy to commit murder. He is held without bail at BCDC.

The investigation shows that Cooke contacted Bennett and Lewis via the Internet and entered into a murder-for-hire agreement with them. Lewis was the middle man and remained in Colorado, coordinating Bennett's actions; Bennett traveled to Maryland and committed the murder, strangling Bernadzikowski and cutting her throat.

Homicide detectives do not believe there are any additional suspects in this case.

"We have been seeking justice in this case for a long time," said Police Chief Jim Johnson. "Our Homicide detectives deserve credit for never giving up on these cold cases. They never forget these victims and their families, and they tirelessly pursue leads over many years. This time, their work has paid off."

Photos of Suspects

Stephen Michael Cooke Jr.

Photo of Stephen Michael Cooke Jr., charged in a cold case homicide from 2000.

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Grant A. Lewis

Photo of Grant A. Lewis, charged in a cold case homicide from 2000.

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Alexander Charles Bennett

Photo of Alexander Charles Bennett, charged in a cold case homicide from 2000.

Officer Joseph HardenA 10-year BCoPD veteran was charged late Thursday with attempted robbery and other crimes following a drug-related incident in Dundalk earlier this week.

Officer First Class Joseph Stanley Harden, 31, of the 700 block of York Road, 21204, has been released on $100,000 bail.

BCoPD suspended him with pay (including suspension of his police powers) immediately after Tuesday’s incident in Dundalk. He was arrested in Towson yesterday morning. Thursday night, he was suspended without pay after charges were filed.

Harden also is charged with attempted burglary, destruction of property and possession of CDS (not marijuana).

July 29 Incident

At about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, officers responded to a 911 call from a man who reported a burglary in progress in the 8200 block of Boundary Road, 21222. Specifically, the caller said someone claiming to be a police officer was trying to kick in his door.

The responding officers found no one at the home but saw an open rear window and a displaced window screen. Officers entered the apartment and found baggies containing what appeared to be marijuana.

Meanwhile, officers on N. Boundary Road pulled over a gray Toyota sedan traveling at a high rate of speed. The driver was Joseph Harden, who was wearing a gray shirt and his BCoPD badge around his neck. Soon after speaking with Harden, officers realized that Harden matched the description of a suspect given by witnesses who said they saw a man leaving the Boundary Road apartment.

Subsequent investigation included the execution of various search and seizure warrants and interviews with the 911 caller, a self-described drug dealer. The investigation showed that for several months Harden has been an associate of Stephen Singh Gomez, 25, of the 500 block of 47th St., 21224 – also a dealer and one of the victim’s customers. (Gomez also has been charged in this case.) Harden has purchased Oxycodone from Gomez several times over the past few months.

Gomez told police that on July 29 he purchased Oxycodone for Harden from the victim at the Boundary Road apartment, but that within an hour Harden requested more pills. The two returned to Boundary Road, and Harden attempted to force entry into the victim’s apartment. The victim told police that he fled in fear through the rear window.

Harden was arrested at his home Thursday morning. He admitted to his role in the N. Boundary Road incident and told police investigators that he is addicted to Oxycodone.

Chief Jim Johnson said that he is “deeply troubled by this officer’s actions. This department does not tolerate criminal conduct among its members, and this officer will face due process for what he has done. Yet we cannot help but be saddened by another troubling case of prescription medication abuse. This problem is pervasive in our society, and unfortunately no institution is immune to it. We hope that this officer and everyone struggling with addiction seeks and receives treatment.”

Background

Harden most recently was assigned to Precinct 8/Parkville, where he has been on modified duty as a result of injuries sustained in a June 2013 police-involved shooting at the Colony Motel on Pulaski Highway.

Harden – assigned to Precinct 11/Essex at the time – was one of three officers who struggled with a man who attempted to run over a woman with a motor scooter outside the motel. The suspect engaged the officers in a violent physical fight and succeeded in defeating one of the restraining devices that held one of the officer’s guns in her holster. As that officer screamed for help, and as the suspect tried to rip her gun from the holster, Harden fatally shot the suspect with his service weapon.

Like all police-involved shootings, this incident was reviewed by the Homicide Unit, a BCoPD internal shooting review board and the Baltimore County State’s Attorney. All three investigations found the shooting justified.

Photo of Clyde Campbell, arrested in the murder of Dorothy Grubb.The boyfriend of a Dundalk woman found dead Tuesday night along Peninsula Expressway in Precinct 12/North Point has been charged with her murder.

Clyde C. Campbell, 53, of the 1700 block of Manor Road, 21222, was charged Wednesday evening and is held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center. (Campbell had been arrested Monday morning in Dundalk on weapons charges unrelated to the Grubb case and has been held at BCDC since then.)

Grubb was reported missing to BCoPD by her daughter Saturday evening; she was last seen Thursday evening. The daughter said she was concerned because of a history of domestic violence between her mother and Campbell.

The investigation shows that Campbell and Grubb argued on the second floor of  their Manor Road home on July 24, and that during this argument witnesses heard a loud noise after which the verbal argument stopped. Witnesses told police that Campbell dragged Grubb's body down the steps and into the back yard, where he put her in a tarp and placed the tarp in the bed of his Ford pickup.

Based on information from witnesses, police searched the area along Peninsula Expressway, about one-quarter mile northwest of Reservoir Road, and late Tuesday night found the tarp containing Grubb's body.

The Office of the State Medical Examiner has ruled the manner of death homicide and the cause of death multiple force injuries. Police and the Medical Examiner have determined that no shots were fired.

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