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The Tentacle


December 14, 2006

Time to Support A Wounded Protector

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Maryland State Trooper First Class Eric D. Workman, 36, from the Westminster Barrack, has family traveling to Maryland from all over the country. They are staying in Baltimore while he is hospitalized at Maryland Shock Trauma Center after being shot early Tuesday morning in Woodlawn, in Baltimore County.

His brother is a Fairfax County, VA, police officer. TFC Workman is single and has no children. His father and stepmother were at the hospital Tuesday afternoon. Other family members are expected to arrive as soon as travel arrangements can be made.

Accommodations are being attended to for the family by the Maryland Trooper Association Lodge # 20 (of which this writer is a member). The Westminster "Chick-fil-A" restaurant has donated food.

TFC Workman, who is assigned to the criminal investigation section, was working with the Baltimore Warrant Fugitive Task Force executing a warrant for a suspect in a home invasion and abduction on December 7 in Eldersburg, Carroll County.

According to a Maryland State Police press release, previously Steven T. Jones, of Glen Oak, MD, was charged with 60 criminal charges in connection with the incident.

State Police Spokesman Greg Shipley reported that Mr. Jones was already under "intensive parole," had "an extensive criminal record," including drug and theft charges going back to 1986.

He was released from the Eastern Correctional Institute on the Eastern Shore in June "after serving a sentence stemming from a 1994 conviction," according to the Baltimore Sun.

At Shock Trauma, TFC Workman is under the care and treatment of Dr. Thomas Scalea. In the Sun article, Dr. Scalea said, that in spite of the fact that TFC Workman was wearing a bulletproof vest, the bullet pierced the police officer's lung and also injured his spleen and kidney.

As fate would have it, Dr. Scalea and TFC Workman are friends dating back to 1998 when the police officer also was injured in the line of duty. He was struck by a car on the Washington Beltway, in Prince George's County.

TFC Workman had just visited Dr. Scalea recently at Shock Trauma on a social call.

In a televised press conference carried by most of the local TV channels, Dr. Scalea's voice quivered as he said, "I can't tell you how sorry I am to be in this position again. This is not over by a long, long shot. We've got to get him through the next hours and days."

A Carroll County Times article said that "despite that assessment, Workman has remained conscious, and Scalea. said the trooper recognized him when he arrived at the hospital."

"You're here - I know it will be OK'," Scalea quoted TFC Workman as saying, according to The Times article.

Westminster Councilman, Kevin Utz, a former sergeant with the Maryland State Police remembers well when he was struck by a drunk on a traffic stop on the Baltimore Beltway in 2000.

Councilman Utz, who retired from the state police in 2003, said in The Times article that TFC Workman visited him in the hospital after his 2000 accident. Sergeant Utz and TFC Workman worked together from the Westminster Barrack for several years.

The stage was set for this turn of events last week in a quiet neighborhood in southern Carroll County.

The Times article quoted police sources: "(One suspect) and another man, 36-year-old Ronald J. Presco, of Baltimore, tied up the occupants of an Eldersburg home Dec. 7 using handcuffs, telephone cord and duct tape and then forced a 25-year-old man to drive to a Randallstown check cashing and bail bonds business, where he was employed, in an attempt to rob him."

"Awaiting police officers freed the 25-year-old and arrested Presco after a brief foot chase, according to court documents. Presco is being held without bail."

The other suspect escaped police at the time, but now bail will not be necessary for him as he was shot and killed Tuesday morning in the ensuing gun battle after he fired upon TFC Workman, in a row house in the 5500 block of Forest Park Ave. in the Edmonson Heights.

Ironically, according to the Sun, the "home is decorated for the holidays, with a lighted snowman and a reindeer display and stockings hung in the second-floor windows. A miniature, white Christmas tree could be seen through a large, first-floor window."

In information provided by State Police spokesman Shipley, TFC Workman is a decorated trooper, who has been with the Maryland State Police since 1997.

"In 1998 he received a certificate of recognition for saving a suicidal person on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and another for his outstanding work in a shooting investigation. In 2000, he was given the Commander's Award for outstanding service. That same year, he was presented the Baker Award for Highway Safety. In 2005, he received a Governor's Citation for bravery, after disarming a knife wielding suspect he and another trooper were attempting to arrest."

The Maryland State Police, in partnership with the Maryland Troopers Association, The State Law Enforcement Labor Alliance and FOP Lodge 76, are answering the needs of TFC Workman's family. If you would like to make a donation to help TFC Workman and his family, please make a check payable to:

Maryland Troopers Association Lodge #20

TFC Eric D. Workman Family Fund

Westminster MSP Barrack G

1100 Baltimore Blvd.

Westminster, MD 21157

It is important we find ways every day to thank the troopers, firefighters and other professionals who protect our community. Today we have a very simple and direct way to say thank you to one hero and his family.

Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster: E-mail him at: kdayhoff@carr.org



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