Man charged in Elk­ton store knife at­tack




— A man re­mained jailed in lieu of $250,000 bond Sun­day af­ter he al­legedly tried to stab two Kmart em­ploy­ees who tried to stop him from shoplift­ing, trig­ger­ing a scuf­fle that was caught on sur­veil­lance video, po­lice re­ported.

The in­ci­dent oc­curred about 2 p.m. June 11 in­side the Kmart in the Big Elk Mall, where two of the store’s loss preven­tion as­so­ci­ates ap­proached the sus­pect — North East-area res­i­dent Mer­rill Ja­cob Baker, 22 — when he attempted to leave with­out pay­ing for condoms, ra­zor blades and tooth­brush re­place­ments, po­lice said.

When they grabbed Baker, who had at- tempted to run, he strug­gled with the em­ploy­ees and then armed him­self, po­lice added.

“Baker im­me­di­ately bran­dished a knife and Baker attempted to slash and stab at the as­so­ci­ates, but he was un­suc­cess­ful,” ac­cord­ing to Ce­cil County District Court records.

One of the work­ers was able to dis­arm Baker, who con­tin­ued to strug­gle and hit the em­ploy­ees with his el­bows, po­lice said. The work­ers man­aged to con­trol Baker be­fore Cpl. Todd Finch and Ofc. Ed­ward Don­nelly of the Elk­ton Po­lice De­part­ment ar­rived, po­lice added.

“Ofc. Don­nelly was first on the scene and I fol­lowed. Just in­side the store, near the phar­macy area, we ob­served loss preven­tion as­so­ci­ates hold­ing a sus­pect on the ground. It was ob­vi­ous that a fight had just oc­curred,” Finch wrote in his state­ment of prob­a­ble cause.

Don­nelly ar­rested Baker with­out fur­ther in­ci­dent, po­lice re­ported.

One of the em­ploy­ees handed Don­nelly the knife that had been taken away from Baker, ac­cord­ing to court records, which in­di­cate that it was a black fold­ing knife about 8 inches long with a “clip point blade.”

Of­fi­cers searched Baker and con­fis­cated the al­leged stolen hy­giene prod­ucts, which were val­ued at $322, po­lice said. They also seized a nee­dle and a glass pipe con­tain­ing sus­pected co­caine residue, po­lice added.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors watched the sur­veil­lance video, which con­firmed the ac­counts given by the loss preven­tion as­so­ci­ates, in­clud­ing Baker lung­ing with a knife and one of the work­ers jump­ing back to “avoid be­ing stabbed with it,” court records show.

Baker, who is sched­uled for a July 8 pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing, is fac­ing 10 charges, in­clud­ing first-de­gree as­sault, reck­less en­dan­ger­ment, rob­bery and theft, ac­cord­ing to court records.

Last Mon­day, af­ter Baker had re­mained in the Ce­cil County De­ten­tion Cen­ter with­out bond since his ar­rest, a district court judge set his bond at $250,000 dur­ing a bail re­view hear­ing.


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