The director of a Halethorpe funeral home who who also happens to be a former state trooper and Army veteran offered some major assistance to police yesterday during an armed robbery.
Baltimore County police say they responded to a call yesterday at the Baltimore Highlands Pharmacy on Annapolis Road after an employee pushed an alarm button. According to police, Robert Richter had entered the business, pointed a gun at an employee and demanded pills from the pharmacy and money from the safe.
Police said a “good Samaritan” came to the rescue. That man was Mark Bailey, president of the nearby Bailey Funeral Home and Cremation Service, WBAL-TV first reported. According to the station, before Bailey opened his business, he was a state trooper for 12 years and previously served in the Army. His policing career ended in 2004 after he was injured while trying to stop a man driving a stolen semi-truck cab on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.
Police said an employee of the pharmacy was talking with Bailey on the phone when the masked Richter allegedly robbed the business. Bailey immediately ran from his funeral home to the pharmacy, chased Richter down, smacked the gun out of his hand and held him until police arrived.
Speaking today by phone, Bailey said his actions during the robbery were “instinctual” thanks to his previous training. “It unfolded really quickly,” he said. “Just being there and being able to help these other people is being a good neighbor. It’s what I try to do.”
He added that spending six months spent in the police academy “prepares you for a lifetime.”
Police discovered the firearm Richter allegedly used to rob the pharmacy was a pellet gun. They arrested him and charged him with armed robbery, first-degree assault and theft of between $10,000 and $100,000. Judicial records shows he’s being held without bail and will appear in court on Feb. 24.
An employee of the pharmacy told Channel 11 they were fortunate Bailey was nearby.
Speaking with Baltimore Fishbowl, Bailey said, “I’m just glad that the folks up there are safe at the pharmacy and that the suspect was apprehended without any significant injuries.”
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