Few answers in Maryland incident: Victim, witness not cooperating with authorities: police

The Shawano Leader/June 11, 2010

Authorities Thursday said they still haven't determined what really happened prior to a police response and execution of a search warrant this week at a Baltimore house owned by the founder of the Shawano-based Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology, Inc.

"At this point we're looking into whether this was an actual assault or whether this was just a simple accident," said Baltimore County Police Lt. Robert McCullough.

McCullough said authorities have received little cooperation from the parties involved, including two witnesses and the 18-year-old woman whose injuries prompted the investigation.

The incident began around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to authorities, with an ambulance call at a house in the 3700 block of Michelle Way – an affluent community in Pikesville in Baltimore County, Maryland. The property is owned by Avraham Cohen, formerly known as R.C. Samanta Roy.

A young woman was transported to the hospital with serious injuries, including internal injuries. She remained hospitalized Thursday in serious but stable condition, McCullough said.

"It appeared to the officers that she had been possibly assaulted," McCullough said.

However, McCullough said Thursday, the woman has made no claims of being assaulted.

McCullough said he was not at liberty to share what the woman has said to authorities, but, he said, "she's not saying she was assaulted, she's saying something different."

Neighbors reported hearing what sounded like two gunshots and the collapse of what was described as "a graphite slab." There were also unconfirmed reports of bullet holes in one of the windows, but it wasn't known whether they were related to the incident.

A man, who police did not identify other than to say he was not the homeowner, was questioned and released on Wednesday.

Neighbors reported numerous patrol cars, emergency responders and a SWAT team showing up at the location Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

There were unconfirmed reports of FBI involvement, but local authorities said it was an isolated assault investigation involving local police.

The street was blocked off and the area secured until authorities could obtain a search warrant.

When police finally did gain entry with the use of a flashbomb, there was no one in the residence, according to McCullough.

McCullough said he did not have any information Thursday about a report from a neighbor that she saw someone crawl out of the house later in the day.

Cohen is not believed to have been involved in the incident at the Pikesville home, McCullough said.

Cohen changed his name in 2007 from R.C. Samanta Roy, according to Maryland court records. He was originally known as Rama Behera when he arrived in the Shawano area as leader of the Disciples of the Lord Jesus.

Court documents filed in Wisconsin in 2007 indicated that Cohen had pledged $500,000 to the Yeshivat Rambam school, an Orthodox Jewish school in Baltimore. Cohen described himself as a Jewish neurosurgeon of Indian descent, according to the documents.

Rabbi Hershel Lutch, the school's executive director, declined to comment Thursday on the school's dealings with Cohen or whether it had accepted the gift.

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