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Trail of blood eventually leads city police to hurt teen

March 17, 2003|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

Responding to a report of armed burglars in an apartment at 21 W. Antietam St. early Sunday, Hagerstown City Police followed a trail of blood and bogus information that led to a 16-year-old youth wanted for armed robbery in Baltimore.

The first officers arriving at the scene at 2:47 a.m. were expecting to find suspects with firearms trying to burglarize Apt. 401.

Instead they discovered blood splatters in the foyer and up the stairs to the fourth-floor apartment. On the way up, police encountered a man who said another man was shot on the fourth floor, police said.

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When they got to the apartment, no one was there, police said.

At 3:34 a.m., police were notified by officials at Washington County Hospital that a 21-year-old Baltimore man had just been admitted with a serious cut on his face. Officers who questioned the man at the hospital soon discovered he was the person injured at 21 W. Antietam St. - by a box cutter, not a gun.

Police said the man in the hospital told them he was visiting friends in that apartment when two men, including one with a handgun, entered the apartment. The victim told police that he received a 6-inch wound on his face during a struggle to disarm that man.

The man said he ran out of the apartment and got a ride to the hospital with a woman in a small red car, police said.

As the investigation continued, police learned the man in the hospital gave them a false age and name and was actually a 16-year-old wanted in Baltimore for armed robbery and other crimes for which he has been charged as an adult.

In addition, police learned through interviews with witnesses that the 16-year-old allegedly was attempting to rob one of the apartment dwellers early Sunday. He has been charged with attempted robbery and attempted theft in that incident, police said.

Lt. Rick Johnson said Sunday afternoon that the youth was in custody at the Washington County Detention Center on the adult charges from Baltimore. Bond is set at $250,000.

Locally, he has been charged in the Sunday incident as a juvenile, Johnson said.

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