In ironic twist, driver of white van key to arrests

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Doglips, Oct 24, 2002.

  1. Doglips

    Doglips Guest

    Man all kinds of weird stuff comeing out...this was in the Baltamore sun Newspaper?,0,4779795.story?coll=bal-home-headlines

    In ironic twist, driver of white van key to arrests
    Unidentified motorist calls police about suspect car
    By Allen G. Breed
    The Associated Press
    Originally published October 24, 2002, 12:48 PM EDT

    MYERSVILLE -- After three weeks of looking out for a shadowy killer in a white van, Larry Blank spotted just such a van today at the Interstate 70 rest area where he works as an attendant.

    When Blank went up to the vehicle about 1 a.m., he found the driver was calling police.

    "I stepped inside his vehicle, and we locked ourselves in the car while he was on the cell phone," Blank said.

    Blank said the driver was reporting a blue Chevrolet Caprice that fit the description of a car that investigators said late Wednesday they were seeking in the deadly Washington-area sniper attacks.

    The Caprice was parked along a tree line across from the bathrooms, under a street light, Blank said.

    Federal and state officials swooped in and arrested two men wanted for questioning in the attacks. The rest area 50 miles northwest of Washington was soon awash in flashing, blue police lights.

    Blank, 52, of Hagerstown, said the tipster, whose name he did not know, seemed to enjoy a little bit of payback for all the suspicion cast on white van drivers in the Washington area during the search for the sniper. Witnesses had described white trucks and vans they saw leaving shooting scenes.

    "He was riding around in a white van," Blank said. "He got tired of people staring at him, and then he saw this car and recognized it and reported it."

    With news of the arrests filling the airwaves, truckers blew their horns as they passed by the rest stop.

    So many TV satellite trucks filled the eastbound Myersville rest stop, across the interstate from where the men were arrested, that trucker Harry Pearsall had to park in the breakdown lane just beyond the exit.

    The Rocky Point, N.C., man, who was hauling empty apple juice bottles from Cincinnati to Baltimore, said he had tried to fill his gas tank before hitting Maryland because of fear of the sniper.

    "I'm just hoping that it's the right one, just hoping this is over," Pearsall said. "It's just a matter of having to go in a certain area and feeling a certain way. That's kind of rough, all the tension and stuff involved."

    Al Feldstein, an employee at the Maryland Department of Planning, stopped at the eastbound rest area to use the bathroom on his way to Baltimore.

    Looking at the police lights and TV cameras across the highway, Feldstein said he couldn't help but think about the sniper's victims.

    "I'm trying to feel relief for the people in the metropolitan areas," said Feldstein. "Nothing is conclusive yet. You just keep your fingers crossed."
    Copyright © 2002, The Associated Press

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