Tag: Baltimore

Antonio Wright: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Antonio Wright. (Baltimore police mugshot)

Baltimore police have identified a 26-year-old firebombing suspect as the city’s “public enemy number one.”

Wright turned himself in on March 20:

Antonio Wright is accused of setting a house ablaze, killing two teenagers and injuring six other people, including a 4-year-old child.

Wright is at large, and police have sought the public’s help in catching him.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Wright Is Accused of Throwing Two Molotov Cocktails at the Home

WBAL-TV reported that Wright is accused of tossing two Molotov cocktails at the home as a family slept inside.

In a news conference, police said the Baltimore Fire Department received a call at about 5 a.m. about a fire in a row house. You can watch the news conference above.

T.J. Smith, chief of media relations for the Baltimore Police Department, said in the news conference that fire officials found two teenagers deceased inside the home once they arrived and started to put out the fire.

“We had immediate evidence on scene that this was a fire that was deliberately started,” he said. “There’s some type of accelerant that’s been used.”

He said the ATF was at the scene along with police arson experts and the Fire Department. “This was a deliberately set fire, and the individuals that were inside the home were apparently targeted,” Smith said.

Wright’s wife has been posting about him on Facebook.

The allegations she is making are not confirmed.

2. Police Have Called the Firebombing Suspect a ‘Psychopathic Predator’ Who Could Have Killed Eight People

Smith had strong words for the firebombing suspect.

“Obviously this is something that is just heartbreaking for this community to see a fatal fire, but to see a fatal fire that was deliberately set is a problem. And the bigger problem is some of these psychopathic predators that are out there killing people and whoever did this potentially could have killed eight people,” Smith said.

The police spokesman referred to plural suspects, although police have only accused Wright of being involved thus far.

“These suspects are people that should not walk the streets,” Smith said. “They went under the cover of darkness when a family is in there sleeping and lit a fire.”

3. A Previous Non-Fatal Shooting May Be Tied to the Blaze, Police Say

Smith said the motive is still under investigation, but police believe the home was targeted and are investigating whether an earlier shooting played a role.

“Two nights ago, we had a non-fatal shooting in this general area, and the victim of that non fatal shooting ran inside of this particular home that is the subject of this fire,” said Smith. “We are right now looking at that connectivity.”

He said police were reviewing video surveillance from the area.

4. An Adult Woman Was Injured When She Jumped From the Top Floor

An adult woman managed to escape the blaze by jumping from the top floor of the three-story home. However, she is still recovering at a hospital.

“Right now we have two deceased people and we still have a woman is fighting for her life,” Smith said. “The cowardly act of the individuals who committed this crime need to be held accountable.”

He added: “If you look at the height of this house, that third floor, it’s really high up, so you’re talking at least a 30 foot jump and significant injuries were sustained as a result of that jump.”

The number of deaths could have been even worse, Smith said.

“There were a total of eight people inside the house,” he said, adding of the woman who jumped: “One person we know is in serious condition who jumped from the top floor of the home. The other people are at the hospital being treated, four of which have been admitted to the hospital at this time.”

5. Those Injured Range in Age From Children to Adults

Police said those injured but not killed were: A 38-year-old woman, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries; A 20-year-old woman, who suffered life-threatening injuries after jumping from the third level; A 17-year-old girl, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries; A 16-year-old girl, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries; An 11-year-old boy, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries; and a 4-year-old boy, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries

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Rachel Pietro: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

A Baltimore County, Maryland mother is accused of child abuse after a viral video allegedly showed her beating two of her young children.

The man who posted the video, Devon Macijeski, said Rachel Pietro posted it in a group chat he was on, and he was horrified, so he shared it to his own Facebook page. On Facebook, Pietro also goes by the name Rachel Weber.

Pietro, 26, “was charged with two counts of second-degree child abuse and second-degree assault in connection with the recorded abuse,” reported WBAL-TV.

She says on Facebook that she is a former stripper who is married and is a mother of four, including a “daughter with wings.”

Here’s what you need to know:

1. The Video, Which Went Viral, Shows a Woman Beating Two Children

The video is only 23 seconds long. It shows a girl hiding under a bunk bed as a woman beats and yells at her. The woman then hits a boy in the head as she shouts something about “beat these kids to death.” (It’s hard to make out some of what she says.)

ABC2 reported the video went viral on Facebook shortly after it was posted by Macijeski. The family involved lives in the Essex area and the Baltimore County police and social services are investigating, according to the television station.

The Baltimore police spokeswoman told WBAL-TV: “The investigation showed she shot the video. She told us she shot it as a ploy to get her husband to come home and take care of her and she was angry and upset at the children at the time she shot the video.”

2. Macijeski Said He Shared the Video Because He Wanted Pietro Held Accountable

In an interview with Heavy, Macijeski said he was shocked when Pietro – whom he knows only through Facebook – shared the video in a group chat.

“She sent me the video during a group chat and yes she is the one in the video and the exact moment she sent me that video I felt furious and posted it right away so I can get help with getting them kids taken away,” he told Heavy of Pietro.

Of why he came forward, he said, “I just think it was the right thing to do.”

3. Pietro Is a Former Stripper & Pole Dancer Who Has Worked in Customer Service Jobs

On Facebook, posting as Rachel Weber, Pietro says she works “taking orders answering calls at Prima’s Pizza & Pasta.”

She says she was also a “Customer Service Representative and Cashier at Family Dollar, a “Former Everything at Dunkin’ Donuts,” and a “Former Stripper/Pole Dancer at Lust Gentleman’s Club.”

There was no answer at a phone number listed to Pietro, and she did not respond to messages left for her on social media.

4. Police Began Their Investigation After the Video Went Viral

A Baltimore County police spokesperson told Heavy that the mother in the video was not under arrest as of March 17. She declined to name her, directing a reporter to the police blog for more information.

The police blog said a “BCoPD investigation of a viral video depicting child abuse is ongoing.”

The blog added on March 16, “Detectives in the Crimes Against Children Unit began an investigation this morning, after the viral video surfaced on YouTube and other social media platforms. The video shows a woman and several children. The investigation focuses on a household in the Essex/Middle River area. No charges have been filed at this time. The children have been transferred to the Department of Social Services and are now in the care of family members.”

According to The New York Post, no charges had been filed in the case as of March 17, but police said “officers had picked up the woman in the video for questioning. The children in the video have been transferred to the care of the Department of Social Services, police said.”

The Baltimore Child Abuse Center received over 200 emails from people concerned about the children, according to The Post.

5. Pietro Is From Maryland & Says on Facebook That She is Married & Has Four Children

On Facebook, Pietro says she “went to Chesapeake High School” and lives in Middle River, Maryland.

She says she is married and from Essex, Maryland. She frequently posts photos of her children and writes about them on Facebook.

She wrote in 2016 on Facebook, “In 30 mins ill be married to my hubby for a year n I been with him for 5 years. We have been thru so much in so little time. After I made a mistake we sat down n talked we both cried to each other n let things out n since than my husband is changing into the man I fell in love with he cooks he cleans he helps with the kids more he listens to me we now watch tv together we cuddle he shows alot more affection n gives me more attention n so much more I hope he continues to be this man I love u baby happy 1yr wedding anniversary.”

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