Incident in Maryland ruled an accident

The Shawano Leader/June 16, 2010

Authorities have concluded an incident last week at a Baltimore house owned by the founder of the Shawano-based Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology, Inc. was an accident.

Some half dozen police squads, vans and a SWAT team converged on the normally quiet neighborhood outside a residence in the 3700 block of Michelle Way, blocking off the street and attempting to address occupants of the home through a loudspeaker.

The home - in an affluent community in Pikesville in Baltimore County, Maryland - is owned by Avraham Cohen, formerly known as R.C. Samanta Roy.

Initial speculation was that an 18-year-old woman found injured at the residence had been the victim of an assault. But Baltimore County Police Lt. Robert McCullough said Tuesday there was no independent evidence to support that.

"Based on the information received from the victim and the witnesses in this case, we’re at this time determining the incident to be an accident," he said. "We have no other independent witnesses or information to corroborate differently."

Police responding to a 911 call shortly before 10:30 p.m. on June 8 found the woman lying in a driveway.

The woman, later identified as Carmella Goldstein, was transported to Sinai hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries, according to the police report.

Police discovered a large slab of granite broken apart and laying in the back yard, along with a large amount of blood.

Two other women were also in the driveway when police arrived. One woman identified herself as Rivka Roy. Police later determined the 911 call had come from Rivka Roy’s cell phone.

The other woman refused to give her name, saying she did not trust the police and wanted to speak with a lawyer.

Police also spotted a man looking out from a window above the garage, at which point he closed the blinds and turned off the lights, according to the police report.

Police attempted to make contact with the man by banging on the front door and shining flashlights into the home, but he refused to answer the door, the report states.

He emerged about an hour later and was identified through his Wisconsin driver’s license as Manasseh Goldberger. According to the police report, Goldberger was limping and had scratches all over his body.

He stated he was the contractor for the home. He said he and Goldstein were loading items into a trailer that was about 1 foot off the ground.

Goldberger said Goldstein "was very clumsy and fell off the trailer landing on her face," according to the police report.

According to the police report, Goldstein suffered a broken pupil, punctured lung, fractured ribs, torn cervix, broken pelvis and fractured tibia. There were initial concerns that night that she might have to have a lung removed and be placed on a breathing machine, the report stated.

According to the police report, a doctor at the hospital told police he did not believe the injuries were caused by a fall from a 1 foot high trailer, but rather by blunt force trauma caused by an unknown object.

A medic who responded to the scene and treated Goldstein as she was being transported to the hospital said there also appeared to be injuries related to sexual trauma, according to the police report.

"That was investigated by us and unfounded," McCullough said Tuesday. "The medic found she was probably bleeding from her vaginal area. That was the result of her being crushed - her pelvis being crushed. That probably caused her to be bleeding."

Police then returned to the home to question Goldberger a second time. Police saw lights going on and off inside the home, but no one would come to the door, according to the police report.

The street was blocked off and the Baltimore County Tactical Team was called in to secure the area until authorities could obtain a search warrant.

Goldberger came out of the house at about 8 a.m. and was taken to the Fourth Precinct for questioning. He maintained his story that Goldstein had fallen, according to the report.

Rivka Roy had also been taken to the Fourth Precinct for questioning around 4 a.m., but she refused to speak, according to the police report.

Police executed the search warrant later that morning, using a flashbomb to gain entry. No one else was in the home at that time, according to McCullough. Cohen was not believed to have been involved in the incident, McCullough said.

The only evidence collected from the residence, according to the police report, was a few drops of blood located inside. Police by that time had already collected blood from the backyard and driveway of the home.

Police also examined the scene to determine whether an accident might have been the cause of Goldstein’s injuries.

According to the police report, two slabs of granite were sitting vertically next to one another on top of a wheeled cart. Two more slabs were in pieces on the ground "entangled with blood," the report stated. The wheels of the cart appeared to be stuck in a grate located in the backyard.

Police determined it was possible that Goldstein and Goldberger were pushing the cart when it became stuck in the grate, spilling the granite slabs onto Goldstein. Goldberger could have been injured attempting to assist her, the report stated.

After her surgery, Goldstein said she was at the residence to work with Goldberger on the house. She said they were moving granite slabs when one side fell on top of her.

Goldberger and Rivka Roy were released without any charges, the report stated.

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