ELKTON — A 76-year-old man remained jailed Tuesday after he allegedly pointed a shotgun at paramedics outside his Elkton-area residence over the weekend while they were attempting to render medical treatment to his wife, according to Cecil County District Court records.
Investigators identified Charles Lee Sluder of the 3000 block of Appleton Road, northeast of Elkton, as the suspect.
The incident started at approximately 8 p.m. on Saturday, when two Singerly Volunteer Fire Company paramedics arrived at that Appleton Road residence in response to a 911 call indicating that a 63-year-old woman was suffering back pain and constipation at that address, police reported.
But the front door was locked, prompting one of the paramedics to knock multiple times while repeatedly identifying himself as “Fire Department,” police said. During that time, police added, the paramedic could hear “screams for help coming from inside the residence.”
The paramedics then knocked on the back door and attempted to have a dispatcher call the woman inside the residence, according to the charging document. Moments later, however, the paramedics forced their way through the front door because the screams for help coming from inside the dwelling continued, court records indicate.
Once inside, one of the paramedics noticed a man, later identified as Sluder, walking toward him from a hallway while yelling, “Who are you (and) why are you breaking into my house?” police reported. That paramedic continued to announce that he was a fire department member and that he was there to medically treat Sluder’s wife, according to police.
Despite the repeated identification and explanation, Sluder continued to advance and came “face to face” with the paramedic, police said. Experiencing a need for protection, the paramedic placed his Halligan bar between himself and Sluder, police added. (A Halligan bar is a tool commonly used by firefighters and other first responders for forcibly open doors.)
At that point, Sluder told the paramedic, “Don’t put that away; what are you going to do with that? What would you do if I came around the corner with my shotgun?,” court records allege.
When the two paramedics went to treat Sluder’s wife, even after hearing the comment alluding to a long gun, Sluder allegedly walked back toward his bedroom and remarked, I’m gonna get my shotgun,” court records show.
“At this time, (the two paramedics) feared for their safety and started to retreat to the ambulance, which was parked in Sluder’s driveway,” according to the charging document.
While the paramedics were inside the ambulance, Sluder brandished a shotgun “back and forth at the ambulance” as he stood in the front yard, approximately 20 feet away from that emergency vehicle,” court records allege. The paramedics called police, court records show.
Elkton Police Department officers arrived at the residence and quickly detained Sluder, police said. Maryland State Police troopers arrived moments later and arrested Sluder, police added. MSP troopers assigned to the North East Barrack handled the investigation.
Investigators found a .20 gauge shotgun inside the residence and confiscated the weapon, police said. One of the paramedics identified the seized shotgun as the one that Sluder allegedly had pointed at him and his fellow paramedic, police added. The shotgun was not loaded, police reported.
Sluder’s wife, who purportedly was experiencing back pain and constipation, refused medical treatment, according to police.
Sluder is charged with two counts each of first-degree assault, which is a felony that is punishable by up to 25 years in prison if convicted, and two counts of reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum five-year penalty, court records show.
He remained in the Cecil County Detention Center in lieu of $2,000 bond on Tuesday, one day after his bail review hearing, according to court records.
It marked the second incident involving a suspect allegedly pointing a shotgun at people in Cecil County within approximately a two-hour period on Saturday. At approximately 6 p.m. on Saturday, a man allegedly pointed a shotgun at his Port Deposit-area neighbor during a dispute relating to the use of firecrackers, police said. MSP troopers arrested that man and filed six criminal charges against him, police added.
The two incidents are unrelated.