Crime

ELKTON — A Cecil County man has been charged with assault and other offenses after he allegedly spit into the faces of two Maryland State Police troopers during an incident near Elkton, according to Cecil County District Court records.

MSP troopers responded to the 200 block of Fletchwood Road, northeast of Elkton, at approximately 11:40 p.m. on Thursday, after receiving a dispatch regarding a shirtless, intoxicated man “walking in and out” of traffic on that highway, police reported.

The complainant told the dispatcher that a tractor-trailer almost struck the man on that section of Fletchwood Road, police said. The caller also reported that the man approached him, as he was walking in that area, and “assumed a threatening posture,” police added.

MSP troopers noticed that the man — Kenneth Laird Jr., 32, of the 200 block of Fletchwood Road near Elkton — appeared to be “impaired by alcohol or another unknown substance,” that he was “stumbling in and out of the roadway” and that he had slurred speech, court records allege.

After guiding the man to his nearby home, troopers instructed Laird to go into his residence and rest, police reported.

During that interaction, Laird continuously approached one of the troopers and touched the front of his uniform — despite the law enforcement officer having asked him to stop, according to charging documents. After ignoring several requests by troopers to go inside his home, Laird allegedly “became irate and started to scream” at them, court records allege.

At that point, troopers arrested Laird for alleged disorderly conduct, police said. They took him into custody at 12:18 a.m. on Saturday, approximately 40 minutes after they had arrived on scene in response to the initial dispatch, police added.

“Once in custody, the defendant proceeded to spit in the faces of two Maryland State Police troopers . . . and proclaim that he was going to ‘burn the whole town down’,” court records allege.

Laird is charged with second-degree assault on a law enforcement officer and arson threat — each of which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison if convicted — and resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, according to court records. Resisting arrest carries a maximum three-year penalty and disorderly conduct is punishable by up to 60 days in jail. Laird is scheduled for a Nov. 12 district court bench trial, court records show.

After spending the weekend in the Cecil County Detention Center on no bond and appearing for his bail review hearing on Monday morning, Laird was released on $5,000 bail, court records show.

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