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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.
Date: Apr 25, 2017

Photo of house fire on Beech Avenue in Overlea.

A 34-year-old woman has died of injuries sustained last night in an Overlea house fire.

At 10:46 p.m., police and fire units were dispatched to the 6900 block of Beech Avenue, 21206 for a report of a dwelling fire. A neighbor observed visible flames coming from the home and called for help.

The first arriving police officers on the scene located a man on the porch roof and used a ladder provided by neighbors to assist him down to the ground.

Neighbors advised that there were still possibly two residents inside the home. Fire personnel were able to locate and extricate one adult woman from inside the house. It was determined the third resident was not home at the time of the fire and that all residents had been evacuated.

The woman, identified as Samantha Armstrong, was transported Priority 1 to Franklin Square Hospital, and then the trauma center at Bayview Medical Center. She was pronounced deceased at 2:05 a.m.

About 30 fire units fought this fire, including units from Baltimore City. Baltimore County’s Engine 7 was the first arriving and, along with Baltimore City’s Ladder 30 and Engine 56, played a leading role.

Detectives believe the fire began in the kitchen ceiling. Investigators are still working to determine the exact cause of the fire.

A second fire was reported in the vicinity at 9:38 p.m. at a vacant structure in the 7500 block of Belair Road. Fire investigators do not believe this is related to the Beech Avenue fire.

UPDATE (April 25, 2017 2:11 p.m.):

Baltimore County Robbery detectives have arrested a suspect in the robbery of the Nature Care Pharmacy in Reisterstown.

Timothy Smallwood (48) of the 8700 block of Town and Country Road in Ellicott City was arrested on Saturday after numerous citizens' tips led police to identify him as the suspect in the surveillance video images released just one day earlier.

Booking photo of Timothy Smallwood, arrested in robbery.

He is charged with Armed Robbery, 1st Degree Assault, Use of a Dangerous Weapon with Intent to Injure, and Misdemeanor Theft. He is currently being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

The Baltimore County Police Department would like to thank all of the citizens who became involved by responding with tips, ultimately leading to the identification and arrest of this criminal.

 

Original Release (April 21, 2017 10:24 a.m.):

Baltimore County Police are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a robbery suspect.

Around noon on March 25, the suspect depicted below walked behind the pharmacy counter in Nature Care Pharmacy on Main Street in Reisterstown, pointed a handgun at the clerk, and ordered the clerk to give him various pharmaceuticals. He then fled the location on foot towards Village Center Road.

The suspect is described as a taller, thin man with longer graying hair, pulled back into a ponytail in the images captured on video surveillance.

Anyone with information regarding this man’s identity is asked to contact police at 410-307-2020.

Anyone with information on this case can also submit a tip to Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP. For more information on other ways to contact Metro Crime Stoppers, as well as information on rewards offered by or through them, check their website at www.metrocrimestoppers.org. Metro Crime Stoppers, an organization that is separate from the Baltimore County Police Department and Baltimore County Government, offers rewards for information in connection with felony offenses. Anonymous tips can be sent to Metro Crime Stoppers by phone, text message, or online.

This crime continues to be investigated by the Baltimore County Police Robbery Unit.

Tonight’s annual Baltimore County Police Foundation Awards ceremony honors nine sworn officers and four civilians for exceptional performance. The honorees include Officers Justin A. Haines, Brian D. Remmers and Phillip R. Wright who successfully settled a dangerous situation that could have been deadly.

Master of Ceremonies Stan Stovall will host the awards dinner this evening at the Delta Hotels Baltimore Hunt Valley (the former Baltimore Hunt Valley Inn), 245 Shawan Road, Hunt Valley 21031. The reception begins at 6 p.m., dinner is at 7 p.m. and the awards presentation begins at 8 p.m. Chief Terrence B. Sheridan and Stephen P. Somers, Police Foundation President, will present the awards.

The following personnel will receive the 2017 Police Foundation Awards.

Valor – Officers Justin A. Haines, Brian D. Remmers and Phillip R. Wright, Precinct 4 Pikesville

On December 23, 2016, the officers responded to a disturbance at an apartment building. The subject was screaming and slamming his door. The subject yelled “time to die” at the officers when they knocked on his door. Within seconds, the subject, armed with a knife, opened the door and confronted Officer Haines. The officers slowly retreated as the man moved forward toward them. When Officer Haines lost his footing, Officer Remmers stepped back and un-holstered his weapon at the same time. The subject moved forward and Officer Remmers shot the man once in the shoulder. The officers kept their position and guns on the subject until it was determined there was no longer a risk.

Crime Prevention – Detective Kenneth Brown and Detective Steve Jackson, Mobile Crisis Team

As experienced detectives with the Mobile Crisis Team, Detectives Brown and Jackson created a training presentation that focused on the aspects related to workplace violence, de-escalation techniques, and responding to an active shooter. The presentation incorporates how to identify potential offenders, how to verbally de-escalate hostile and angry individuals, and how to react in order to increase survival during incidents of violence. In 2016, the detectives gave the presentation to over 2,800 people.

Distinguished Contribution to the Profession – Officer James A. Bylen, Marine Team

Officer Bylen witnessed an uptick in boating fatalities – 16 in the upper Chesapeake Bay region in 2015. Determined not to repeat the situation, Officer Bylen created an event to be held annually in conjunction with National Safe Boater Week. It was his hope that attendees would gain a better appreciation for safe boating operation. Officer Bylen met with community associations, the Baltimore County Marine Trades Association, the local civic council and the Back River Restoration Committee. With the cooperation of the U.S Coast Guard, the Department of Natural Resources, the Baltimore County Fire Department and the Baltimore County Volunteer Fire Rescue, the Annual “Sergeant Marvin T. Haw IV Safety Day” was begun.

The result of Officer Bylen’s efforts were evident in 2016. The number of drownings dropped from 16 in 2015 to six in 2016.

Exceptional Performance – Officer Jefferson F. Schaub Jr., DUI Task Force

Officer Schaub set out to apprehend 100 DUI offenders in 2016. His dedication to making the roads safer showed in the numbers. Officer Schaub conducted 37 Intoximeter Tests, and eight Drug Recognition evaluations; these tests take an average of 1-4 hours to administer. In addition, he made 557 traffic stops, issued 983 warnings, and 37 Safety Equipment Repair Orders. His tireless efforts have kept the roads safer for those driving in Baltimore County.

Exceptional Group Performance – Digital and Multimedia Evidence Unit

Ashley Hofmann, Gregory J. Klein, Christopher G. Kollmann and Dana McAlister

This unit uses a high-tech, cutting edge approach to recover, preserve and examine digital evidence. Data recovered from mobile devices and computers, and surveillance video extracted and enhanced from crime scenes and surrounding businesses provide invaluable leads that support investigations and solve crimes.

Community Service – Officer Darryl A. Hunter Sr., School Resource Officer (SRO) in Precinct 11 Essex

As SRO, mentor, teacher and guide at Chesapeake High School for 14 years, Officer Hunter has helped students find their way through tough times. When he started at the school, he met with everyone – principals, teachers and students – and has maintained a strong presence since then. His leadership and straight talk helped students who would cross the line and would discipline them as the law allows. However, the best testament to his work with young people can be counted by those who have succeeded. Several students have attended the Youth Leadership Academy, four became volunteer police explorers, three became cadets, one is in training at the academy and two are current police officers. As a coach at Chesapeake High School, Officer Hunter led the 2016 girls’ basketball team and the football team to championships.

Rookie of the Year – Officer James A. Koscielski III, Precinct 2 Woodlawn

In 2016 Officer Koscielski became a patrol officer at Precinct 2. Officer Koscielski is self-motivated and proactive. His determination led him to excel during his shift. So much so, he led the shift in enforcement and was given a permanent patrol car. The officer cleared hundreds of case and cleared 104 serious traffic cases.

During 2016, he seized about $3,000 in currency related to drug sales and seized four guns during one investigation.

His leadership skills have made him a valuable part of the department.

About the Police Foundation

The awards program began in 1980 as a way to recognize the Police Department employees for outstanding performance and to strengthen the relationship between the business community and the Department. The Baltimore County Police Foundation contributes resources, including seed money and in-kind services, for the development of new projects.

All members of the department, both professional staff and sworn, are eligible for nomination.

 
 
Revised June 27, 2017