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Keyword: catonsville

Tuesday was just another ordinary day for Officer M. Mills of the Wilkens Precinct, but "ordinary" for police officers is sometimes considered "extraordinary" by those whose lives they touch.

Officer Mills responded to a call for a possible fire with smoke showing in a wooded area off of Washington Boulevard in Catonsville around 9:31 a.m., but was unable to locate any fire. He searched the wooded area, where he happened upon a disheveled man and questioned him about seeing any smoke or fire. The man admitted to starting the fire to keep warm and the smoke resulted when he'd extinguished it. Officer Mills continued to talk with the man, who began to recount a tale of disparity, including the prayer for food he'd said just before Officer Mills' arrival.

It is fairly routine for officers to encounter transient citizens during their shift, so this incident was just another routine situation that Officer Mills would handle that day. However, his response could either make the man's day ordinary or extraordinary.

Officer's Extraordinary Assistance

Officer Mills started his response by giving the man cash for food from his own pocket.

Realizing he needed more, Officer Mills offered to drive him to a shelter, which the man accepted. Officer Mills could easily have dropped the man off at any shelter and called it a day. Instead, knowing that most shelters have waiting lists or are filled to capacity, Officer Mills took him to Baltimore County Westside Men's Shelter on Redwood Circle and stayed there, speaking with employees, who provided a hot meal, shower, clean clothes, and ensured a space for the man at the shelter.

Lastly, just before leaving, Officer Mills noticed the poor condition of the man's shoes. He inquired and the man explained that he'd walked to the Baltimore area from Pennsylvania. Officer Mills left, but soon returned with new shoes for the man donated by Walmart.

Officer Mills didn't think much about his response to this call for service; it was just another ordinary day. We're cops; it's what we do. His supervisor, however, recognized that the decisions he made and the effect he had on one person were extraordinary, and that creates a ripple effect. President Calvin Coolidge said, "No one is compelled to choose the profession of a police officer; But having chosen it, everyone is obligated to perform its duties and live up to the high standards of its requirements." Well done, Officer Mills.

UPDATE (October 6, 2017 9 a.m.):

The man who robbed a BP gas station in Catonsville on September 9 is identified as Leander Sherman Nevin, Jr. (44) of the 3900 block of Mountain Road in Pasadena, 21122.

Nevin is charged by Criminal Indictment with Robbery, 2nd Degree Assault, and Theft Under $10,000 and is currently released on bond.

Original Release (September 18, 2017 11:11 a.m.):

Baltimore County Police are asking for the public's assistance in identifying the man who robbed a BP gas station in Catonsville on Saturday, September 9.

The suspect entered the gas station, located at 607 Frederick Road, 21228, around 9:02 a.m., approached the clerk and feigned interest in buying a lottery ticket. When the clerk moved, the suspect reached over the counter and grabbed the cash register. He fled the store with the entire register, then fled the location in a dark colored older model pickup truck on Bishops Lane toward Bloomingdale Avenue.

Police have released surveillance video from the BP gas station in an effort to identify the suspect, who is described as approximately 6'0", very thin, short brown hair, wearing dark pants and a dark hooded sweatshirt.

Anyone with information on this crime or this suspect is asked to contact the Baltimore County Robbery Unit at 410-887-2017.

Reward Offered

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.

Phone: 1-866-7LOCKUP

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

Web tip:

UPDATE (September 23, 2017 5:00 p.m.):

William Zappie has been located and returned home.

Original Release (September 22, 2017 11:58 p.m.):

Maryland State Police has issued a Silver Alert on behalf of Baltimore County Police for a missing Catonsville man.

William Zappie (88) was last seen leaving his home in the 200 block of Stonewall Road in Catonsville, 21228 around 1 p.m. in his tan 2002 Buick Regal bearing Maryland registration plate 'EWD176'. He has no known destination as he was believed to be going for a short leisurely drive. He also left his cell phone behind when he left. He has become disoriented while driving on one previous occasion and was located in Ohio.


Mr. Zappie was last seen wearing a light blue polo shirt, blue jeans, and black suspenders. He is approximately 5'6", 168 pounds, has brown eyes and short white hair. He may also be wearing glasses.

Anyone who may have seen William Zappie or his tan Buick Regal is asked to contact Baltimore County Police at 410-307-2020. Officers of the Wilkens Precinct are continuing to investigate this disappearance.


Revised June 27, 2017