In an attempt to confirm our exclusive story on the fatal crash involving a Wise Avenue VFD ambulance, the Post contacted the Public Affairs Section of the Baltimore County Police Department. We wanted to clarify the facts pertaining to this horrific incident.
The Post contacted the PAS officer on duty requesting information. Since the crash occurred on a weekend, the Post was told we had to wait until Monday morning to get the requested information. In the phone conversation with the officer on duty, the Post reiterated the fact that news does not take weekends off and this crash involved both a fatality and a VFD ambulance. To that end, we stressed that it was important to get this information out to the public.
When the officer on duty repeated the command to call on Monday morning, the Post decided to contact other personnel. We advised another spokesperson running only part of a story would not benefit either the public or the BCPD. That spokesperson agreed and reacted quickly by posting incident information on the PAS website.
One would think that the BCPD would update its initial posting:
After medical treatment, the driver was charged with driving under the influence.
However, this was not the case; the driver of the vehicle was not identified. In an effort to obtain that information, the Post made two phone calls seeking the identity of the driver. Following the second call, BCPD ultimately responded via email with this information:
The driver of the 2012 Hyundai Accent has been identified as Nicholaus Edward Schnalzer, 32, of the 2000 block of Inverton Road, 21222.
Why did it take five days to release this information? Inquiring minds want to know.
We also learned that, according to court documents, Mr. Schnalzer was charged with another DUI on January 1, 201o. The adjudication of the case was listed as a Nolle Prosequi by the Baltimore County States Attorneys office.
In plain language, that means the judge allowed the defendant to walk free. That seems to be the current trend in the BCSA office, where many of these DUI cases are either plea-bargained or never tried.
As as The Post recently reported, these types of crashes involving repeat offenders continue to devastate the families of the victims.
You will also notice that in the information provided to the Post by the PAS there is no mention of the charges or other related offenses, nor were we told whether the subject was granted bail.
We find this an egregious effort to stifle transparency regarding these types of events.
The Post will continue in our efforts to hold government officials and agencies accountable so the general public can be informed of this type of important news.
The images below indicate how important this story is regarding the transparency between the police and the citizens of Baltimore County.