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.