Saturday, March 29, 2008

Man killed while beating would-be robber

"Facing the barrel of a sawed-off shotgun on a dark West Baltimore street, Roland Scott fought back. He pulled out his own weapon - a fake handgun - and wrested the shotgun away from his attacker, city police said.

Scott ordered the man to strip naked in the middle of Laurens Street, took $800 from him and forced him to march into the laundry room of a nearby apartment building.

"He starts beating him, telling him to get more money, saying, 'Get me a cell phone or I'm going to kill you,'" said Sgt. Dennis M. Raftery Jr., a supervisor in the Police Department's homicide unit. "He is beating him with the butt of a sawed-off shotgun."

Raftery said the shotgun, then pointed at Scott, discharged, hitting Scott in the stomach and killing him. Authorities said his death will be ruled accidental.

"It is unusual," Raftery said yesterday. "I don't know how to put it. It is sort of like one for the books."

Still naked, the other man ran from the apartment building in the 400 block of Laurens St. - the incident occurred about 4 a.m. Wednesday - and went down Monroe Street. He cut his foot and was treated in the emergency room at St. Agnes Hospital.

He told homicide detectives that he was trying to steal money to pay his rent and for pharmacy school, Raftery said, and that he ran when he heard the shotgun go off.

Raftery said detectives interviewed a witness who told police that he saw what happened in the laundry room and corroborated the man's account.

"You can't make this up. You just can't," Raftery said. "There is no way that two different people who don't know each other ... there is no way he could come up with the collaborating information. I guess the moral of the story is if you get the jump on someone who is robbing you, call the police. Had he just held him there and called the police, then we would have done what we need to do."

Um, ah, Sarge?

If they gave collaborating information, that means they WERE working together. Think ya might have meant corroborating. Perhaps.

Mr. Scott should have considered himself lucky to have wrested the shotgun away from the mugger, then shot him with it or called the police. Just a thought.

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