A former Montgomery County police officer was named last night as the wounded suspect who eluded a police dragnet in the Rock Creek area of the county after a wild chase from the scene of a McLean robbery attempt.
Joseph Baltimore, who eventually resigned from the county force after being acquitted in 1977 of a rape charge, was charged in a warrant yesterday with attempting to take money from a Safeway supermarket manager in the Commons Shopping Center.
The store manager was walking to a bank branch in the shopping center about 8:30 p.m. Friday when he was accosted by a muscular man who attempted to wrest a money bag from him.
The store manager, identified as Donald Oakes, 38, resisted, and struck at the man with a wooden club. The would-be robber ran to an automobile parked some distance away. The store manager, accompanied by a security guard employed at the shopping center, pursued.
A scuffle broke out at the car, and the security guard, John R. Clemmer Jr., 24, reportedly fired shots from his handgun, possibly wounding the would-be robber.
The man succeeded in getting behind the wheel of the car and speeding off, but police were alerted and a lookout was issued by radio.
Fairfax County police officer Thomas Crytzer spotted the man's car on the Capital Beltway and pursued it.
One of the shots fired by the security guard had apparently punctured a tire on the man's car, and after crossing the Cabin John bridge into Montgomery County, the vehicle finally crashed on Greentree Lane in Bethesda.
The man jumped from the disabled vehicle and began to run. Crytzer shouted for him to stop, then fired a shot.
Police, some with K-9 dogs, swarmed into the area to take up the chase. One group of searchers was led to a telephone booth on Democracy Boulevard, where they said they found a discarded, bloodstained shirt.
Later Friday night, as police continued the manhunt that began in the affluent section of the county near the Burning Tree and Bethesda Country Clubs, an officer in a police car saw a man walking near Grosvenor Lane and Rockville Pike.
On the officer's approach, the man, whose arm appeared to be bloody, darted away toward Rock Creek Park. That was the last time he was seen.
A police dragnet was called off about 6:30 a.m. yesterday.
The steps that led authorities in Fairfax County to obtain the warrant naming Baltimore were not immediately clear last night. However, county Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. said he was charged with robbery in the warrant.
Baltimore, 34, was a six-year police veteran when he was acquitted in July 1977 of the charge of raping a 15-year-old girl in the basement of a Bethesda elementary school. A police trial board later found that he had sexual relations with the girl while on duty. He eventually resigned from the force, according to a county police spokeswoman.