Suspect jumps into harbor to escape after leading chase in stolen police car – still gets arrested

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BALTIMORE, MD – According to reports, a suspect in a stolen police vehicle led cops on a chase earlier in September and reportedly jumped into the harbor in his attempts to evade arrest – but was still apprehended shortly thereafter.

The pursuit began at approximately 7:30 p.m. on September 18th when officers attempted to pull over the driver of an allegedly stolen SUV.

Officials said that the suspect refused to stop and sped off from the attempted stop, crashing into numerous vehicles along the way.

Raymond White, whose car was hit by the stolen SUV, spoke with local Fox 45 about the collision:

“We were heading towards the Pigtown area. We were stuck at a traffic light. We saw lights behind us and all we know is a car behind me gets rammed from an SUV. He got pushed aside and then my vehicle got rammed right afterwards. The truck popped the pavement and went off and the police vehicles went after him.”

After crashing the reportedly stolen vehicle, authorities say that the suspect then fled on foot and stole another car: this one being a Baltimore Police vehicle.

Apparently, the unit stolen by the suspect had been stopped by one of the officers that was trying to chase the suspect down on foot.

According to a Facebook post from Baltimore Councilman Eric Costello, a representative of the 11th district where the incident occurred, the suspect continued leading the chase through the Riverside and Locust Point neighborhoods.

The driver reportedly stopped the vehicle and led police on a foot pursuit again, where officers chased the individual toward the Tide Point area – when police say the suspect jumped into the harbor.

However, the attempted last ditch effort did not work, as police apprehended the suspect by approximately 8:30 p.m. that evening.

Officials have not released the name of the suspect as of this writing.

Despite the numerous collisions reported during the pursuit, police did not report of any injuries that were caused as a result of the chase.

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Baltimore City promises to remove street sign honoring convicted drug dealer, calls it an “oversight”

(Originally published September 11th, 2021)

BALTIMORE, MD – City officials in Baltimore have promised to remove a street sign that pays homage to a convicted drug dealer who was fatally shot in March of 2020, claiming that the transportation department experienced an “oversight” in the honorary sign approval process.

Back in August, the city of Baltimore approved the naming of a portion of the road at Washington and Ostend Streets as “Anthony ‘Mo$’ Covington Way”, which references 27-year-old Anthony Covington who was fatally shot on March 28th, 2020.

Covington was among three other people shot along the 1100 block of Washington Boulevard at approximately 9:30 p.m. on March 28th, 2020 but was the only person who didn’t survive the shooting.

Police said that three shooters exited a vehicle and opened fire on all of the victims before fleeing the scene.

There are currently no reports that indicate any suspects have been arrested or identified from the 2020 case.

Apparently, Baltimore runs a program where residents can apply for ceremonial street signs in remembrance of lost loved ones. However, Covington’s streets sign that was placed up in August caused some local outrage, considering the deceased’s criminal background.

Covington was reportedly convicted of narcotics distribution back in 2017 and was subsequently sentenced to 3 years in prison. One local resident, who spoke under anonymity, had the following to say about the street sign:

“He sold drugs there. When someone has a dollar sign as part of their name, there is a problem.”

Another local resident stated that individuals like Covington are not someone that should be put up on a pedestal by city officials:

“That’s not something you glorify.”

Some locals were perplexed as to how a convicted and locally known drug dealer managed to have his name emblazoned on a street sign:

“It’s unconscionable. When a neighborhood is up and coming how are they going to up and come when this is okay?”

Seemingly anyone can apply for one of these ceremonial signs, and the approval process apparently involves a handful of agencies and even requires the sign off from the mayor’s office.

When transportation officials were asked by local news outlet Fox 45 as to how Covington’s name landed on a street sign despite his criminal record, the transportation department simply said it was “an oversight from our right-of-way division.”

One September 8th, the city confirmed that they’ll be not only removing the street sign with Covington’s name – but also making some changes on the approval process so as to not have something like this happen again, according to transportation spokesman German Vigil:

“Moving forward, the department will revamp the ceremonial street sign program and introduce new and specific requirements for eligibility.”

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Judge approves lawsuit against Baltimore for letting anarchists destroy property, businesses during riots

(Originally published September 1st, 2021)

BALTIMORE, MD – A federal judge ruled that there is enough evidence in a lawsuit brought by small business owners affected by the 2015 unrest following the death of Freddie Gray when police were ordered to stand down by the city.

The lawsuit, brought by 70 plaintiffs, mostly small business owners, has been stuck in the courts for four years, but Thursday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Stephane Gallagher has cleared the way for the case to go in front of a jury.

The judge said the Maryland Riot Act obligates the city to protect residents and businesses during the unrest. In the ruling, she said the act requires the city to take action to prevent “theft, damage or destruction.”

Gallagher wrote:

“The City may ultimately be right that it acted reasonably as a matter of overall policy and prioritization, and a reasonable juror could certainly agree.

“However, a reasonable juror could also (and perhaps simultaneously) conclude that the City remains liable for the ensuing property damage arguably attributable to the ‘trade-off’ between more traditional anti-riot measures and the City’s policy decisions in April of 2015.”

Riots broke out in Baltimore following the in-custody death of Freddie Gray on April 19, 2015. City leaders argued that they did a good job controlling the riots and claimed the plaintiffs were “Monday morning quarterbacking.”

In the lawsuit complaint, the city denied there was a riot, but rather:

“Individuals opportunistically taking advantage of unrest in order to commit crimes and property destruction.”

The city also argued that police did a good job of suppressing the violence:

“Despite being under-equipped and understaffed as a result of the State and other jurisdictions refusing its requests for assistance in the days leading up to the funeral, BPD managed to suppress the unrest in approximately twelve hours, with no loss of civilian or officer life.”

City attorneys said the city performed well compared to other cities in similar situations:

“The violence that has erupted nationwide both before (Ferguson) and after (following the 2020 death of George Floyd), and even the last time Baltimore experienced rioting in 1968.”

The plaintiffs argued that police were ordered to stand by as their businesses were burned and vandalized. They claimed police stood by as many of them were attacked and injured during the riot.

The plaintiffs said in the complaint:

“Even in locations where BCPD officers were present, business owners helplessly watched their stores being looted and destroyed as BCPD officers also simply watched and/or turned away and let the destruction of property continue.”

Judge Gallagher said the city coordinated with police and ordered them to protect the First Amendment rights of rioters over any other duties:

“The City instructed the BPD that it did not want the BPD’s response to appear ‘overly aggressive,’ and that the BPD should prioritize protecting the protesters and their First Amendment rights.

“In the lead-up to the April 25th protests, the City remained focused on ensuring that the BPD not ‘silence’ protesters or ‘interfere with their First Amendment rights.’”

On April 12, 2015, Baltimore police arrested Gray, a 25-year-old black man. While in a police transport vehicle, his neck and spine were injured, and he fell into a coma. He died of his injuries on July 19, 2015.

Rioting broke out in protest of Gray’s death while in police custody, leading to the injuries of at least 20 police officers, the arrest of at least 250 people, and between 285b and 350 businesses damaged.

There were 150 vehicles set ablaze, 60 structure fires, and 27 drugstores looted in the chaos.

Thousands of police and the Maryland National guard responded to quell the violence and a state of emergency was declared. The state of emergency remained until May 6, 2015.

On May 1, 2015, the medical examiner ruled Gray’s death a homicide, and six officers were charged with various crimes for their involvement. 

Three of the officers were acquitted of their charges, and in July 2016, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby dropped charges against the remaining three officers.

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