Aberdeen resident Violet Ripken, mother of Baltimore Orioles Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., was accosted at gunpoint in the parking lot of an Aberdeen bank Tuesday afternoon but scared off her attacker using her car alarm, city police said.
The incident came 16 months after Ripken, 75, was abducted from her home and returned safely a day later. However, Aberdeen police said there was no apparent connection between Tuesday’s incident, for which a suspect has been arrested, and the earlier kidnapping, which remains unsolved.
According to Aberdeen Police, at approximately 3 p.m. Tuesday, an employee at the NBRS Bank branch in the 200 block of West Bel Air Avenue told officers that Ripken reported a male suspect had approached her in the bank parking lot and displayed a handgun.
The man told Ripken he wanted her car, but Ripken activated her car’s panic alarm from her keyless entry device, and the suspect fled the area, police said. Ripken was unharmed.
Investigators identified the man through an ATM photo, and officers canvassing the area located him at approximately 5:15 p.m., taking him into custody. The suspect’s identity was not immediately available pending charges in the case, according to Aberdeen Police Department spokesman Lt. Fred Budnick.
Budnick said there was no immediate connection between Tuesday’s incident and the July 2012 kidnapping of Ripken.
“There’s no apparent connection,” he said. “It appears at this point to be a crime of opportunity.”
Ripken was taken from her home on the morning of July 24, 2012 by an unidentified man and driven around the area through the remainder of the day and the next night before being returned unharmed to her home on July 25. Aberdeen police have not identified a suspect in the case.
In August, Ripken Jr. increased the reward for information leading to the suspect to $100,000. He was present in the broadcasting booth Tuesday night as scheduled for Game 4 of the National League Championship Series in Los Angeles.
Anyone with information on Tuesday’s case is asked to call the Criminal Investigation Section of the Aberdeen Police Department at (410) 272-2121.