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One in custody in strong-arm robbery

February 01, 2002

One in custody in strong-arm robbery



By MARLO BARNHART
marlob@herald-mail.com


A mid Thursday afternoon strong-arm robbery behind the adult bookstore on East Washington Street prompted a canvass of Hagerstown's East End by state, county and city police, all looking for as many as three people.

Despite numerous leads, only one person was in custody as of Thursday night, said Hagerstown City Police.

Nathaniel Eugene Henderson Jr., 19, of 58 Winter St., was charged with robbery, theft and second-degree assault. He was awaiting an appearance before a bond commissioner late Thursday.

The episode began at 2:23 p.m. when Deputy Charles Enders encountered a man in the first block of East Antietam Street who said his brother had just been robbed. Enders called city police who responded and found the victim, a 48-year-old man, with a large cut on his head.

The man was taken to Washington County Hospital where he received 11 stitches and was released, police said.

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He told police he had been walking in Matthew's Alley when two men began following him. The men jumped him, beat his face and body and choked him when he tried to call for help, the victim told police.

They took his wallet and fled.

At 2:24 p.m., Deputy Dave Norford saw three men in the alley behind the adult bookstore. They ran when Norford approached.

Henderson was nabbed a short time later hiding under a porch at 30 E. Antietam St., police said. A gray sweatshirt identified by witnesses to the robbery was found at Henderson's side.

"A woman called us and said she had seen what happened in the robbery," said Lt. Rick Johnson. Then she told police that later she went outside onto her porch and a man reached up through the steps and grabbed her by the leg.

"She said the man begged her to let him inside ... even offering to pay her to let him inside," Johnson said. Instead she pulled free and ran inside to call police.

Meanwhile, the search for two other men continued as citizens called in numerous sightings. No one else was in custody as of late Thursday night. It wasn't known what part, if any, a third man may have played in the robbery, police said.

Anyone with information about the robbery may contact Hagerstown City Police Detectives Carroll Braun or Patricia Moulton at 301-790-3700.

During the early stages of the search, patrons and staff at the Flair Hair Stylists at 26 1/2 E. Antietam St. were interrupted by police who came into the salon and told everyone to lie down on the floor for their own protection.

One patron, who asked not to be identified, said she and seven or eight others stayed on the floor for a while and then got up when nothing happened.

"It was frightening," the woman said.

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