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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: robbery

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.

The Baltimore County Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect in connection with the robbery of a Family Dollar Store in the 6600 block of Security Boulevard 21207 on February 16.

At 8:30 p.m., the suspect entered the store, acted liked a customer, and then demanded money. He took an undisclosed amount of money and fled the scene.

The suspect is described as a 30 to 40-year-old black male, 5’08”, and weighing 170 pounds. He was wearing black coveralls, a black knit cap, Timberland style boots, and large framed glasses.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Baltimore County Police at 410-307-2020 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.

Callers to Metro Crime Stoppers

If your tip to the Metro Crime Stoppers hotline leads to the arrest and/or indictment of a suspect, for a felony crime, you may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000 from Metro Crime Stoppers.

If you have information on the above crime/suspect please call, text, or e-mail: Metro Crime Stoppers hotline available 24-hours a day toll free.

Phone: 1-866-7LOCKUP

Text message: Text "MCS" plus your message to "CRIMES" (274637)

Web tip: www.metrocrimestoppers.org

Baltimore County Police are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the suspects in an armed robbery that occurred June 16 in the 10300 block of Reisterstown Road 21117.

The investigation into this incident has indicated that the victim and her boyfriend had been at a business in the Garrison Forrest Shopping Center and were returning to their car. As the victim was getting into the car, the first suspect approached and began speaking with her boyfriend about the location of an African Baptist Church. He offered her boyfriend $100 to drive him to the church and showed him what appeared to be a large sum of currency. A second suspect then approached and offered to help the first suspect.

The victim, her boyfriend, and the suspects got into the car and drove to a nearby Taco Bell where the second suspect stated he had to go talk to his boss. The second suspect exited the vehicle and went towards the building. While they were waiting for the second suspect to return, the first suspect asked the victim if her jewelry was real. When the second suspect returned to the vehicle, he grabbed the victim and demanded her jewelry. She gave her jewelry to the first suspect before both suspects left the location on foot.

The victim’s boyfriend told police that he saw the first suspect hand the second suspect a handgun during the robbery.

This incident is being investigated by the Precinct 3 Investigate Services Team. Detectives have obtained surveillance pictures of two subjects that they would like to talk to in reference to this incident.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call police at 410-307-2020.

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