Suspect nabbed in home invasion robbery
— 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
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.