2 arrested in manhunt

February 18, 2000

Suspect arrestedBy KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer

Police scoured Hagerstown's Pennsylvania Avenue area, evacuated a North End business and searched a trailer park in a Thursday afternoon manhunt prompted by a stabbing earlier in the day.

cont. from front page

The search by more than 20 officers from Hagerstown City Police, Maryland State Police and the Washington County Sheriff's Department ended about an hour later with the arrest of two Hagerstown teenagers.

Bradley Richard Trostel, 18, of 13611 Kenneth St., and Robert Brittney Heare, 17, of 14225 Oak Springs Road, were each charged with attempted murder, first- and second-degree assault, and reckless endangerment, Hagerstown City Police Detective Shawn Schultz said. Heare was charged as an adult, he said.


The victim, Ronald Lee Hoke Jr., 22, was beaten and stabbed with a steak knife in the side yard of his Linganore Avenue home Thursday at 12:45 a.m., Schultz said.

Hoke was treated at Washington County Hospital for a stab wound in his upper back and was released.

Police swung into action around 4 p.m. Thursday when they received a tip that the two were in a mobile home at the North Haven Mobile Home Park at 13740 Pennsylvania Ave.

When police arrived, they were told the two men they were seeking had just left and were heading for Playland on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Police went to Playland, where they asked patrons to leave the amusement facility while officers with rifles searched the building. The search failed to turn up the men, Schultz said.

Playland manager Bob Lauver was in a room at the rear of the building when police arrived.

"They came in and explained what was happening and looked around," said Lauver, who said he didn't see the men who were the target of the search.

A man who was inside Playland with his children at the time said police told patrons "'You gotta leave.' We went outside and there were all these cops with their guns out." The man did not want to be identified.

After leaving Playland some officers drove to Robert Brittney Heare's Oak Springs Road home, while about 10 other officers waited at the end of the road near the entrance to Tony's Pizza.

Schultz said police were discussing whether to get a search warrant to enter Heare's home when a blue Chevrolet Corsica driven by a woman and with a female passenger in the front seat headed toward them on Oak Springs Road.

With guns drawn, police stopped the car. Schultz said police took the action because they believed Trostel might have been inside with a 9mm handgun.

About 10 officers pointed rifles and 9mm handguns at the driver and shouted for her to put her hands up as she got out of the car.

The woman slowly walked to the officers and was handcuffed.

Police then motioned to the front-seat passenger, a 17-year-old female, to get out of the car. She also was handcuffed, and the two females were placed in different police cruisers and taken to Hagerstown City Police headquarters.

Both women were released within about four hours and not charged, Schultz said.

Unsure whether anyone else was in the car, 10 officers used a police cruiser as a shield and crouched behind it as it advanced toward the Corsica.

The officers searched the vehicle but found only a pellet gun in the trunk.

Heare's mother gave consent for police to enter her home, Schultz said. Police entered the home and Heare surrendered, Schultz said. Trostel refused to come out and officers removed him, according to Schultz.

Trostel and Heare were being held at police headquarters pending a bond hearing.

Schultz said the incident began Wednesday evening when a caller threatened Ronald Hoke over the telephone.

The caller had found out that Hoke was dating his 17-year-old girlfriend, Schultz said.

Trostel and Heare were later driven to Hoke's Linganore Avenue home by a woman, Schultz alleged.

After he was stabbed, Hoke rode his bicycle to Noland Drive before summoning an ambulance.

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