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Keyword: towson

Update, December 22, 2015, 5:15 p.m.

Police Chief Jim Johnson today decided temporarily to transfer the officer who used a closed fist to strike man who resisted arrest in Towson Saturday morning. The officer, assigned to the Towson precinct, will be moved from patrol to administrative duties. Given the controversy over this call and the fact that a review is under way, Chief Johnson said this is best for everyone, including the officer. 

Original release:

Baltimore County Police will review an incident involving a Towson officer and a 19-year-old man who resisted arrest when the officer attempted to charge him with disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace.

Cell phone video taken by a bystander and circulated on YouTube shows three officers trying to place Zachary Carson Blumenstein of the 8400 block Ellingson Dr., Chevy Chase, under arrest. One of the officers strikes Blumenstein in the head several times as he resists.

BCoPD takes the use of force seriously and will review this incident for compliance with use of force training, Chief Jim Johnson said. Use of force training requires officers to use the least amount of force needed to bring a situation under control and to escalate the use of force based on circumstances. Johnson said that while it appears that the officer did escalate the use of force as required by BCoPD policy, he is concerned about the officer's use of a closed fist to strike the suspect several times. Johnson said he will look closely at the entire incident to evaluate this specific use of force. He said his initial reaction is that other techniques for achieving restraint and compliance could have been more effective at that moment in the altercation.

Officers faced with violent, chaotic situations often must use force to protect themselves and others.

Police and court records show that a BCoPD officer first approached Blumenstein about 40 minutes before the events depicted in the video, at 1:20 a.m. when they saw him engaged in a verbal disturbance in front of the The Greene Turtle, a bar and restaurant. Five other male civilians were trying to restrain Blumenstein. The officer ordered Blumenstein to leave. Blumenstein remained verbally combative, yelling profanities, and the five men moved him from the location.

At about 2 a.m., the officer saw Blumenstein push a man into York Road, in the 400 block. The officer informed Blumenstein he was under arrest, and Blumenstein resisted. The officer told Blumenstein to stop resisting, but he did not. Another officer arrived to assist with the arrest, which Blumenstein continued to resist. The officer used pepper spray to attempt to subdue the suspect, but he continued to refuse to comply with the officer.

Blumenstein is charged with resisting arrest, disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, trespass and failure to obey a police officer. He was released on his own recognizance.

Booking photo of Zachary Carson Blumenstein

Booking photo of Zachary Carson Blumenstein, charged after resisting arrest in Towson.

UPDATE (December 23, 2015, 11:15 a.m.):

The second suspect in this liquor store robbery has been charged with armed robbery, first degree assault and related charges. He is Hayes Sample Jr., 25, of the 600 block of W. Hoffman St., 21201.

He is held at the Baltimore County Detention Center on $3.5 million bail. His booking photo is posted below.

UPDATE (December 8, 2015  4:03 p.m.):

Baltimore County Police have released information on two of the handguns involved in this case.

The handgun used by the store clerk was legally purchased and registered to him. The handgun used by the suspect the clerk shot did not show as being reported stolen when databases were checked. The gun is an older model and further investigation is being done dy detectives.

UPDATE (December 8, 2015  8:37 a.m.):

Baltimore County Police have identified a robbery suspect that died after being shot by a liquor store clerk Monday night as 25-year-old Claude Edward Mayo of the 900 block of Arlington Avenue 21217.

Just before 7 p.m., Mayo and a second suspect entered Towson Wine and Spirits in the unit block of Pennsylvania Avenue 21204. Both suspects displayed handguns and announced a robbery. Mayo aimed his handgun at the clerk’s head at which time; the clerk produced a handgun and shot Mayo multiple times.

Mayo and the second suspect both fled the store without getting anything. Mayo collapsed close by and the second suspect continued to flee on foot.

Mayo was declared deceased at the scene. His body was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy. Police recovered Mayo’s handgun.

This incident remains under investigation by the Baltimore County Police Homicide Unit with assistance from the Robbery Unit. When the investigation is complete, the report will be sent to the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office for review.

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

Original release (December 7, 2015  9:55 p.m.):

A suspect who attempted to rob a Towson  liquor store is deceased after being shot by the clerk.

Shortly before 7 p.m. Monday night, two male suspects entered Towson Wine & Spirits in the unit block of Pennsylvania Avenue 21204 and announced a robbery.  One of the suspects produced a handgun at that time.

Instead of retrieving money out of the register, the clerk produced his own handgun.  The clerk, a 68-year-old man, shot one of the suspects multiple times in the upper body.  Both suspects fled the liquor store on foot.  The injured suspect collapsed a short distance from the liquor store, while the other suspect continued to flee on foot from the area and was still outstanding at the time of this release.

The injured suspect was declared deceased at the scene. Police continue to search the area for the second suspect; there is no description at this time.

This incident remains under investigation by the Baltimore County Police Homicide and Robbery units.

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

Booking photo of Hayes Sample Jr.

Booking photo of Hayes Sample Jr., charged in the robbery of a Towson liquor store.

Update, November 6:

This fire was declared under control Thursday at 7:45 p.m.

Three firefighters who suffered minor injuries or illness were treated and released from local hospitals.

Original release:

Baltimore County Fire crews continue fighting a two-alarm fire at a three-story home in the 1000 block of Rolandvue Road in the Ruxton area.

Crews responded at 11:46 a.m. and found the wood shingle home fully involved with fire. Firefighters faced several challenges including steep terrain and the home's balloon construction, a type of construction that uses vertical void spaces without firestops; fires spread more quickly in balloon-frame structures.

No one was in the house when the fire started.

One firefighter who reported feeling ill was transported to Greater Baltimore Medical Center as a precaution.

Firefighters attempted to go inside the house, but commanders ordered an evacuation because the structure was not safe. Firefighting continued from the outside.

Thirty-six pieces of equipment responded.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


Revised April 6, 2016