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Hopkins student kills intruder with samurai sword, police say

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by the kid 05, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. the kid 05

    the kid 05 Individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds

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    A Johns Hopkins University student armed with a samurai sword killed a man who broke into the garage of his off-campus residence early Tuesday, a Baltimore police spokesman said.

    According to preliminary reports, a resident of the 300 block of E. University Parkway called police about a suspicious person, department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. An off-duty officer responded about 1:20 a.m. to the area with university security, according to Guglielmi. They heard shouts and screams from a neighboring house and found the suspected burglar suffering from a nearly severed hand and laceration to his upper body, he said.

    The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. Based on the initial investigation, the student killed the man with only one strike of the sword, according to Guglielmi. The medical examiner will make the final determination, he said.

    The student told police that he heard a commotion in the house and went downstairs armed with the sword, Guglielmi said. He saw the side door to the garage had been pried open and found a man inside, who lunged at the student. There was no indication that the suspected burglar was armed, however, according to Guglielmi.

    Burglars had already stolen two laptops and a Sony PlayStation from the student's home Monday, Guglielmi said.

    Dennis O'Shea, a spokesman for Johns Hopkins, said all four residents of the house are undergraduate students at the university. Police had released three of the roommates by Tuesday afternoon. The student who wielded the sword remained in custody while investigators worked to corroborate his story with evidence and witness statements. Police have not released the name of the residents, but department sources identified the detained student as John Pontolillo, 20, of Wall, N.J.

    The city state's attorney's office will determine whether to press charges, Guglielmi said.
    Police have also not formally released the name of the suspected burglar, but a department source identified the man as Donald D. Rice, 49, of the 600 block of E. 27th St. in Baltimore. Guglielmi said the suspect had 29 prior convictions for crimes such as breaking and entering, and had been released Saturday from the Baltimore County Detention Center after he was arrested by county police in August 2008 for stealing a car in Baltimore. Rice was found guilty in December on one count of unauthorized removal of property, and he was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

    Michael Hughes of the 3400 block of University Place, about a block away from the scene, said he was working at his home when he heard screams shortly after 1 a.m.

    "I could hear the fear in the voice, and I could tell someone was scared," said Hughes, 43, who works for Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health.

    Hughes said he called police and could hear sirens as he was on the phone. He walked over to the crime scene shortly after.

    "The body was near the garage. And I watched them carry the sword out. The whole thing was surreal and totally bizarre," Hughes said.

    By Tuesday afternoon, two pools of blood remained on the ground a few feet away from the door to the garage, which is not connected to the home. A door to a wooden fence surrounding the back yard was broken, allowing the scene to be viewed from the sidewalk.

    The three-story house has five bedrooms and two bathrooms, according to Diego Ardila, a junior at Hopkins. Ardila said he lived in the house during the summer and was a roommate of two of the people that currently live there.

    Ardila, 19, said one of the roommates owned a samurai sword and generally kept it in his room. Ardila described the student as somewhat outgoing, although they did not speak frequently.

    "He kept the sword on top of his cabinet," Ardila said.

    Five people lived at the house during the summer, according to Ardila, who now lives a few blocks away.

    "You don't expect to hear that someone you know killed a guy with a samurai sword. From what little I know of him, he wasn't some guy going out to kill," Ardila said.

    Guglielmi said it is legal to possess a sword in Baltimore, and "individuals have a right to defend their person and their property." But the police spokesman said he was not in a position to comment on whether it was appropriate to use a sword, baseball bat or other means of defense.

    Rice was arrested Sept. 25, 2006, for operating a stolen vehicle. Inside the vehicle, police found a camera bag with video tapes that had been taken from a home in the 200 block of E. University Parkway, which was ransacked a month before when someone broke in through a back window, according to court records. The intruder stole luggage, a laptop computer, a video camera, two digital cameras, and the black camera bag.

    Rice was charged in both incidents, and received five months in jail -- or time served -- for the theft, court records show.

    On Dec. 14, 2007, police on patrol in the 400 block of E. 27th St. saw Rice, who the officers wrote looked suspicious and was fumbling with something in his jacket pocket, court records show. When an officer approached, Rice pulled a loaded Rohm .22-caliber handgun, which the officer was able to grab.

    Rice was charged with several weapons charges, but prosecutors dropped the case in Circuit Court in July 2008 after one of the officers -- who was deployed overseas with the military -- could not attend a court hearing, according to the state's attorney's office.


    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bal-sword0915,0,4027961.story?track=rss

    And he always told his mother those sword lessons would never pay off..
  2. Bob Sacamano

    Bob Sacamano Benched

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    the robber could have lived if he wasn't too greedy, since he probably robbed him before

    stupid people
  3. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    John Pontolillo should not be in jail for defending his property.

    I hope he sues the crap out of them for wrongful arrest.
  4. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    Well that pretty much seals it, pulling a gun on the cop. Apparently it was just a matter of time before he figured he had a reason to shoot someone. Fool got what he deserved.
  5. CowboyFan74

    CowboyFan74 Cowboys Analyst

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    I guess Tom Cruise wasn't the last samurai after all.
  6. Bob Sacamano

    Bob Sacamano Benched

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    :laugh2:
  7. ScipioCowboy

    ScipioCowboy More than meets the eye. Zone Supporter

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    In Texas, this wouldn't be an issue.
  8. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    I don't. The articled did not say he was in jail or that he had been arrested He was in custody, which is not the same as being arrested. He was just in custody because they want to make sure all he was doing was defending his property. If his story is true then he did the right thing. It is possible that he lied about what happened although it does not sound probable in this case. The cops are doing their job. They weren't there when it happened, so they are obligated to find out exactly what did happen.
  9. Big Dakota

    Big Dakota New Member

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    Press charges? Give the kid a medal!
  10. TheCount

    TheCount Pixel Pusher

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    lol, who hears a sound and thinks... I'm going to investigate, but first, let me grab my katana.

    I've got no remorse for thieves, absolute scum.
  11. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    My friend took ninjitsu training. She heard a noise around her place one night and grabbed her katana. She never figured out what the sound was, but she was prepared if it was an intruder.
  12. TheCount

    TheCount Pixel Pusher

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    Yeah, you probably don't need training to take care of an unarmed guy while wielding a sword. It's non like you're going to hear a rustle and go outside and there are 3 ninjas waiting for you.
  13. Bob Sacamano

    Bob Sacamano Benched

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    that would be cool though
  14. DallasCowpoke

    DallasCowpoke Fierce Allegiance

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    So you escaped?
  15. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    True. At least mostly true. The training isn't to make sure you can take someone else out. It is to make sure you don't injure yourself while doing it. If I swung a sword I would probably just end up cutting off my own leg. on the follow through. I know I used to knock my self silly playing around with nunchucks as a kid.

    Yes, it would be cool.
  16. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    Shhhhh! Don't tell.
  17. DallasCowpoke

    DallasCowpoke Fierce Allegiance

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    Your secret's safe with me Mr. Bundy!

    :muttley:
  18. TheCount

    TheCount Pixel Pusher

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    Nunchucks were one of those things that looked cool in movies but were painful to try at home, that's for sure.
  19. Danny White

    Danny White Winter is Coming

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    If you outlaw katanas, only outlaws will have katanas. :cool:
  20. Hostile

    Hostile Peace Zone Supporter

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    I took my compound bow with me one time when I heard a guy around my truck. I told him that when he took off running he better be zig zagging.

    His knees buckled.

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