Sus­pect nabbed in home in­va­sion rob­bery

Cecil Whig - - & - By CARL HAMIL­TON

ca­hamil­ton@ce­cil­whig.com

— A man re­mained in jail Tues­day af­ter in­ves­ti­ga­tors ar­rested him in con­nec­tion with a North East-area home in­va­sion in which one of the vic­tims was pis­tol-whipped, send­ing him to the hos­pi­tal in an am­bu­lance, ac­cord­ing to Ce­cil County Dis­trict Court records.

The sus­pect, Mark Wes­ley Grasher, 30, of the 100 block of Erie Court in Lake­side Mo­bile Home Park near North East, is fac­ing 47 crim­i­nal charges, in­clud­ing home in­va­sion and mul­ti­ple counts of first-de­gree as­sault, reck­less en­dan­ger­ment, false im­pris­on­ment and use of a hand­gun in the com­mis­sion of a felony or crime of vi­o­lence, court records show.

Grasher, who is sched­uled for a June 1 pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing, re­mained in the Ce­cil County De­ten­tion Cen­ter in lieu of $175,000 bond on Tues­day, a day af­ter in­ves­ti­ga­tors cap­tured him at his res­i­dence, court records show.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors al­lege that Grasher is one of the three masked rob­bers who barged into an apart­ment in the 200 block of Ch­e­sa­peake Ridge Lane about 1 a.m. April 20 and at­tacked two of the oc­cu­pants, both of whom are 32-year-old men.

Two of the sus­pects re­port­edly pis­tol­whipped one of the men, us­ing one of two hand­guns bran­dished by the in­trud­ers, who also dis­played a “col­lapsi­ble ba­ton,” po­lice said. The re­main­ing sus­pect pointed a hand­gun at the other man and then “or­dered him to get face down on the floor and crawl to a safe in the bed­room,” po­lice added.

“At one point, the sus­pect stood over the (crawl­ing sus­pect) and held him down with his foot and struck him on the back with the ba­ton,” court records al­lege.

Af­ter the armed sus­pect had es­corted the crawl­ing vic­tim into that bed­room, the re­main­ing oc­cu­pant, a 26-year-old woman, opened the safe and then gave the sus­pect ap­prox­i­mately $600, po­lice re­ported.

The three­some fled af­ter steal­ing the cash, po­lice said. As a part­ing shot, one

NORTH EAST

of the sus­pects hurled a “ce­ramic ce­real bowl” at the vic­tim who had been forced to crawl to the bed­room safe, po­lice added.

Blood cov­ered the floor and walls of the apart­ment when Ce­cil County Sher­iff’s Of­fice in­ves­ti­ga­tors ar­rived at the crime scene, shortly af­ter the home in­va­sion had oc­curred, po­lice said.

By that time, po­lice added, an am­bu­lance had trans­ported the pis­tol­whipped vic­tim to Chris­tiana Hos­pi­tal in Delaware, where he was treated for what in­ves­ti­ga­tors de­scribed as “non­life-threat­en­ing” in­juries and was later dis­charged.

Po­lice re­ported that the vic­tim who had been struck in the back with the ba­ton de­clined med­i­cal treat­ment.

The two vic­tims who did not re­quire med­i­cal treat­ment told in­ves­ti­ga­tors that they were fa­mil­iar with one of the sus­pects, whom they knew only as “Mark” and as a Lake­side Mo­bile Home Park res­i­dent, po­lice said.

Ap­prox­i­mately a week ear­lier, “Mark” had been at their apart­ment, which is where the vic­tim who was pis­tol-whipped in­tro­duced him to those two vic­tims, who also live there, po­lice added.

Be­fore CCSO Det. Erin Ne­hila ar­rived, those two vic­tims had searched so­cial me­dia and came across a Face­book page for “Mark Grasher,” ac­cord­ing to court records.

“They iden­ti­fied the male in the pro­file pic­ture on this page as the fa­mil­iar sus­pect in the home in­va­sion, and the ‘Mark’ they had met ap­prox­i­mately a week prior as the same in­di­vid­ual. (One of those vic­tims) showed his cel­lu­lar phone to De­tec­tive Ne­hila with a pic­ture of Mark Grasher from Mark Grasher’s Face­book page,” court records show.

Although the three sus­pects had con­cealed most of their fa­cial fea­tures with masks or cloths, all three vic­tims still were able to iden­tify Grasher, po­lice said. They, how­ever, were not able to iden­tify the other two sus­pects, po­lice added.

The two un­in­jured vic­tims rec­og­nized Grasher’s voice when he spoke dur­ing the home in­va­sion, ac­cord­ing to court records.

The fe­male vic­tim told in­ves­ti­ga­tors that she rec­og­nized “Grasher’s eyes by the shape of his eyes,” as well as a “por­tion of Grasher’s brown hair that was vis­i­ble to her,” po­lice said. The two un­in­jured vic­tims also told in­ves­ti­ga­tors that Grasher has “pale skin,” which also helped them iden­tify him as one of the sus­pects, po­lice added.

In­ter­viewed separately at the hos­pi­tal, the vic­tim who had been pis­tol-whipped told in­ves­ti­ga­tors that he rec­og­nized the voice of one the sus­pects “to be that of his friend Mark Grasher” and that he also rec­og­nized Grasher’s eyes, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

That vic­tim also told de­tec­tives that Grasher was aware that there was a safe in the bed­room and that it con­tained cash, po­lice re­ported.

On Tues­day, the in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­tin­ued in this home in­va­sion, which oc­curred four days af­ter a sim­i­lar North East-area rob­bery — one in­volv­ing three masked sus­pects who bran­dished hand­guns and stole money from a safe.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors had not linked those two home in­va­sions, as of Tues­day.

The first in­ci­dent oc­curred about 2:30 a.m. April 16 in the unit block of Cedar Hill Cir­cle, shortly af­ter the three male vic­tims — one 19 years old, the other two, 17 — had re­turned home from a party, po­lice re­ported.

While on the sec­ond floor of the town­house, the three vic­tims heard ap­proach­ing foot­steps and then re­al­ized that their res­i­dence had been in­vaded, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

“They saw three black males stand­ing there, and they all had hand­guns,” Lt. Michael Holmes, a CCSO spokesman, out­lined at the time, adding, “One of the sus­pects struck the 19-year-old in the face and de­manded money.”

A sus­pect also struck one of the teens in the face and the back of the head, pos­si­bly with an ob­ject, Holmes re­ported. The vic­tims de­clined med­i­cal treat­ment, po­lice noted.

The rob­bers fled af­ter steal­ing money from a safe, which was in a closet, po­lice said. They also stole a cell­phone and a small amount of mar­i­juana, po­lice added.

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