Arrest made in Baltimore murder of gay man

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Eric Jones was arrested in the beating death of George Ted Yurek. (Photo courtesy of the Baltimore Police Department)

Baltimore City police on Sunday arrested a 52-year-old man, whose photo they released days earlier as a person of interest, for the Sept. 3 beating death of George Ted Yurek.

Police said Yurek, who was also 52, was found about 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 3 in an alley near the Baltimore jail suffering from a severe head wound. He was last seen alive by friends and family members at the Baltimore gay bar Grand Central the night before he was found in the alley, police said.

On Sunday, Sept. 24, police charged Eric Jones, a resident of the unit block of North Gilmore Street in Baltimore, with first-degree murder in connection with Yurek’s death. At the time of his arrest police said Jones had two unrelated warrants pending against him, one for first-degree assault and the other for failing to register as a sex offender.

He was waiting to appear before a court commissioner on Monday morning, Sept. 25, according to a police statement.

A police spokesperson on Monday said details of how police identified Jones as Yurek’s alleged killer could not be publicly released until charging documents were filed in court later in the day. But the spokesperson said police were in possession of surveillance camera video footage that showed Jones in the area where the attack took place.

At the time police found Yurek in the alley in the 1000 block of Brentwood Avenue suffering from “massive head trauma” he was still conscious and told officers he had been beaten the night before by an unknown male. He died a short time later at a hospital.

Last week police released a photo of a male they described as a person of interest in the case and called on the public to help them identify that person.

“The Baltimore Police Department appealed to the citizens of Baltimore, and shortly thereafter obtained information that would ultimately lead to the identification of a suspect and the obtaining of an arrest warrant,” police said in a Sept. 24 statement.

“On Sept. 23, 2017, members of the Warrant Apprehension Task Force, K-9 Officers, and SWAT [Team] arrested 52-year-old Eric Jones of the unit block of N. Gilmore St., in the 900 block of N. Eutaw Street, without incident,” the statement says.

Jack Knapp, a friend of Yurek’s, told Baltimore’s Fox 5 News that he and his mother were with Yurek and some of Yurek’s family members, including Yurek’s mother, at Grand Central the evening before Yurek was found wounded in the alley.

Prior to Sunday’s arrest of Jones a police spokesperson said homicide detectives were trying to find out what prompted Yurek to leave the gathering at Grand Central with his friends and family members to go to the location where the then unidentified person attacked him.

The Washington Blade will provide an update when additional information surfaces in court records and charging documents.

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