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Stabbing follows dispute at city cafe

January 31, 1999|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

A Burtonsville, Md., man is in fair condition at the Washington County Hospital after being chased down and stabbed twice following a dispute at JR's Cafe, 355 Jonathan St., on Sunday, according to Hagerstown City Police.

City Police were called to the restaurant at 2:10 a.m. after a report of shots fired inside the establishment.

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Police wouldn't say how many shots were fired.

Sgt. Mark Holtzman said the cafe "is normally packed at that time," he said. The establishment, which doesn't serve alcohol is a popular after-hours hangout, he said.

When police arrived, no one had been injured by gunshots.

The shooter's identity and motive are still under investigation, police said.

About five minutes later, officers responded to nearby 27 1/2 W. Bethel St. for a report of an injured person. Police found Milton Leroy Powell, 29, suffering from two stab wounds.

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Police said they learned Powell was involved in a dispute at the cafe with another man.

Powell ran south on Jonathan Street to Bethel Street where the assailant and another man caught him.

Police are continuing their investigation of the incident and believe the shots fired and stabbing are related.

The assailant is a black male in his 20s. He is six feet, two inches tall and weighs 170 pounds. He was dressed in jeans and a blue Yankees jacket.

Sunday's shooting/stabbing incident is the eighth in the Jonathan Street area within the past 26 months. On Jan. 12, a man fired several shots at a car in the 400 block of Park Place in the afternoon following a dispute. No one was injured, but a parked car was damaged.

Durrell M. Blackmond, 26, of 115 W. Church St., was charged with attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault and reckless endangerment in connection with the incident.

Hagerstown City Police last year created a special unit designed to clamp down on the drug trade and bring order to the streets.

The Jonathan Street area was designated a high-crime HotSpots site in 1997. Washington County received a $221,000 grant in 1998 to target small, high-crime neighborhoods with a comprehensive attack combining police, community groups, parole and probation agents and after-school programs.

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