Police log 1/24

January 24, 2002

Police log 1/24

Family dog holds would-be burglar at bay

A Hagerstown family's dog held a burglar at bay after he broke into a West Washington Street home Tuesday evening.

Roberto Hernandez Ortiz, 27, address unknown, was charged with fourth-degree burglary and second-degree assault.

Ortiz was being held on $10,000 bond at the Washington County Detention Center on Wednesday night.

Police said Officer Casey Younkers went to the home in the 600 block of West Washington Street just after 10 p.m. and found the burglar trying to get away from the German shepherd.

Just before Younkers arrived, family members had confronted the burglar, who had climbed to the second floor and appeared to be urinating, Hagerstown City Police said.

Approximately 50 people evacuated the H. W. Murphy Community Health Center for 15 minutes Wednesday afternoon due to an odor of gas, Hagerstown Fire Capt. Kyd Dieterich said.


Maintenance workers were trying to fix a gas heater on the third floor of the 24 N. Walnut St. center when the odor was detected at around 3 p.m., Dieterich said.

Because the windows couldn't be opened, the odor couldn't escape so firefighters used fans to clear the air, Dieterich said.

Motel staff uses snow to help contain heater fire

FREDERICK, Md. - Motel management grabbed fire extinguishers and bystanders used snow to contain a heater fire at Masser's Motel on Wednesday morning, a state fire marshal said.

After turning on the heater and entering the bathroom, a customer emerged to find flames coming out of the heater at around 9:30 a.m., State Fire Marshal Larry Fletcher said.

Approximately 20 firefighters responded to the 1505 W. Patrick St. motel and finished putting out the fire within five minutes, Fletcher said.

No one was injured, he said.

The wall-mounted electric heater malfunctioned, causing $10,000 in smoke and fire damage to unit 31, Fletcher said. The room will not be available until repairs can be made, including replacing the broken window above the heater, he said.

Cops looking for SUV involved in crash

FREDERICK, Md. - Maryland State Police were looking for a sports utility vehicle Wednesday night that played a part in an accident that sent a Bethesda, Md., man to Washington County Hospital.

Gajinder Singh, 63, was treated and released Wednesday night after being flown to the hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said.

A vehicle that witnesses described as a white Chevrolet Suburban or GMC Yukon was traveling north on Md. 85 at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday when it turned left near Spectrum Drive without yielding to a southbound gold Mazda Protege driven by Singh, Trooper Robert Royer Jr. said.

The SUV driver got out and looked around before driving over the median as he fled the scene, Royer said. The driver was described as a tall black man in his mid-20s to mid-30s.

The SUV should be missing or dragging its front right fender, Royer said.

A witness followed the SUV as it took northbound U.S. 15 to the Jefferson Street exit before losing sight of the SUV, police said.

Anyone with information about the SUV or its driver may call Royer at 301-663-3101.

Three hospitalized after crash on Md. 67

WEVERTON - Three people were taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital on Wednesday night after a rear-end collision on Md. 67, Maryland State Police said.

Kristin Biris, Kasieopa Hahn, and Joshua Hahn were still being evaluated in the emergency room on Wednesday night, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Biris, 32, of 1324 Weaverton Road in Knoxville, Md., was about to turn right from northbound Md. 67 onto Garretts Mill Road at 6:39 p.m. when her 1993 Honda Accord was rear-ended, Trooper 1st Class Dave Harper said.

Kasieopa Hahn, 20, of 20213 Kellys Lane in Hagerstown, was charged with failure to control speed to avoid a collision, Harper said.

A third car was between Biris' Accord and Hahn's 1993 Ford Tempo, but turned left shortly before the accident, Harper said.

Two-month-old Joshua Hahn was in a child's seat in the Tempo's back seat, Harper said.

Both vehicles were totaled, Harper said.

Two Cumberland, Md., men faced drug charges Wednesday night after Maryland State Police stopped their car for going 80 mph in a 65 mph zone on westbound Interstate 70 near Walnut Point Road, police said.

Police found marijuana seeds on the floorboard of the black 1998 Chevy Cavalier stopped at 8:30 p.m., Trooper 1st Class Jesse Broadwater said.

Police also found 4 grams of crack cocaine, about 119 grams of marijuana in a bag and a pack of Philly Blunts cigars, Broadwater said.

Leon Eugene Beard Jr., 29, and Joseph Maurice Watts, 35, were each charged with possession of marijuana, possession of crack cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia, police said.

Beard, the driver, was also cited for speeding, Broadwater said.

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