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Police determine no shots were fired in Summit Ave. dispute

April 26, 2011|By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com
  • Sgt. Dave Long attempts to communicate with possible suspects at a Summit Avenue area residence on Tuesday afternoon.
By Yvette May, Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Police in tactical gear surrounded an apartment building on Summit Avenue in Hagerstown Tuesday afternoon after a noisy dispute was misheard as a gunshot.

After a two-hour investigation that closed streets, worried neighbors and drew crowds of onlookers, city police confirmed what was reported as a gunshot around noon was actually a resident throwing items from a balcony during an argument with another man in the back yard.

"There was never a handgun and no shots were fired," the Hagerstown Police Department said in a news release.

Zachary Scott Stotelmyer, 20, of 228 Summit Ave., allegedly began throwing items from the building's third-floor balcony, damaging a table on the second-floor balcony, police said.

Stotelmyer was arrested and charged with malicious destruction of property, police said.

The other person involved was found at another residence several blocks away, police said.

"At this time all persons involved have been accounted for and interviewed and the case is considered closed," the release said.

The incident initially was reported as having involved a handgun and a single shot fired, police said.

Howard Weeks, who owns Crenshaw's Auto Repair behind the scene of the dispute, said he saw a man throwing things from the balcony and heard "hollering and screaming," but no gunshot.

Weeks said the police activity is not uncommon in the area.

"Usually it doesn't amount to this much," he said.

Police closed the 200 block of Summit Avenue and a portion of West Baltimore Street and set up a command center in the parking lot of the Washington County Administrative Annex on Baltimore Street while they investigated the report.

City police officers, the Washington County Sheriff's Department, Washington County Special Response Team, Washington County Fire Police, ambulances and the Hagerstown Police Mobile Command Center responded to the incident.

Police were at the scene until about 2 p.m.

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