CRIME & DECLINE OF LEXINGTON PARK: Armed hobo John Greenwell slashed Sheriff Deputy Carl Ball investigating thefts at Big Lots; shot by Deputy Ball to keep him from stabbing Deputy Dylan Glenn

CRIME & DECLINE OF LEXINGTON PARK: Armed hobo John Greenwell slashed Sheriff Deputy Carl Ball investigating thefts at Big Lots; shot by Deputy Ball to keep him from stabbing Deputy Dylan Glenn

HERO DEPUTY – saved his partner from attack. DFC Carl Ball.
photo from Linkedin.


LEXINGTON PARK, MD. – Assaults by armed felons on St. Mary’s Sheriff Deputies have been rare over the decades but with a long series of young gunmen of the increasingly ghetto-like environment in Lexington Park, more such incidents as took place on December 29, 2020, can be expected. 

St. Mary’s Sheriff Tim Cameron reports that Deputy First Class Carl Ball, along with Deputy Dylan Glenn, arrived at the Big Lots store in Millison Plaza to deal with a theft suspect when, according to Sheriff Cameron, the man pulled a large knife from where he had it concealed in his coat, and slashed Deputy First Class Carl Ball.  

St. Mary’s Sheriff Tim Cameron and deputies moving pedestrians from Great Mills Road in Lexington Park near Canopy Liquors. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo.

Rookie Deputy Dylan Glenn confronted Greenwell and a fight ensued where Sheriff Cameron says that Greenwell attempted to stab and slash the newly minted deputy. At that point, with Deputy Glenn knocked to the ground and Greenwell advancing above him and brandishing the large knife capable of inflicting a fatal blow, DFC Ball shot Greenwell, hitting him in the right arm. 

Sheriff Cameron described the wound suffered by DFC Ball as a significant laceration. Both DFC Ball and Greenwell were flown to shock trauma units.

Millison Plaza Great Mills Road side. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

The Sheriff noted in his statement that Deputy Glenn was not injured during the incident.

Detectives from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division (CID), Crime Lab and members of the Office of Professional Responsibilities (OPR) responded to the scene to process and continue the investigation. 

Cameron says that his Detectives are conducting a criminal investigation into the incident and investigators from the agency’s internal affairs unit are conducting an administrative investigation into the use of force used by the deputies. Body-worn camera footage from both deputies along with in-store video surveillance from the incident is being reviewed as well.

DFC Ball has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home. He has been placed on administrative leave in accordance with agency policy. Greenwell was expected to be discharged from the hospital on December 30, 2020.

Greenwell was charged with assault in Baltimore City District Court on December 12, 2020, locked up in Baltimore City Jail on December 20, 2020, and released on December 23, 2020, thereby missing out on Christmas dinner in the slammer.  Baltimore deals with their homeless and criminal populations by packing some of them in vans and taking them out to small towns that provide homeless shelters, which may account for how Greenwell was able to be home in St. Mary’s for the Christmas shoplifting season.

John Sherman Greenwell 2020 arrest for burglary in Lexington Park, Md.

Burglary- On September 29, 2020, Dep. Baker responded to the 21600 block of Great Mill Road in Lexington Park, for the reported burglary. Upon arrival Dep. Baker located Amber Rosetta Joy, 27, and John Sherman Greenwell, 41, both of no fixed address, inside a vacant commercial property. Greenwell and Joy were arrested and charged with Burglary 4th Degree. 

Greenwell has had either no address or an address in Greenview Knolls listed on court records on the occasion of his many arrests for burglary and trespassing in the Lexington Park area. There are several hobo camps dotted around the area as the homeless shelter clears out the inhabitants in the daytime to wander the town. 

John Sherman Greenwell, 39 with no fixed address, was charged on October 28, 2018, with trespassing at the Quik Shop in Great Mills, by Dep. Budd

The homeless shelter bans the use of drugs and alcohol which are popular substances among the dozens of local bums, thus they set up their camps. Sheriff Cameron led a raid on a hobo camp near the Lexington Park library after several people were mugged in store parking lots on Great Mills Road.

Sheriff Tim Cameron with two deputies inspects a hobo camp next to the Lexington Park Library, which he later ordered to be removed. The camp was a staging area for bums working at muggings along Great Mills Road. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo.

The St. Mary’s County Circuit Court Grand Jury indicted Greenwell on May 24, 2006, for first-degree assault. With the noted LaPlata Attorney William Renahan, who once referred to a local judge as a “wussie”, when he chided the judge for being overly frightened by a threat from his client — as his attorney as he faced the felony charge in Circuit Court on May 11, 2006.

Greenwell filed an Alford Plea to the charge, was found guilty, and sentenced to fourteen years in prison with all but ten years suspended. By virtue of his incarceration in the Maryland prison system for ten years, a noticeable gap in the criminal record of Greenwell occurred until a trespassing arrest in 2017.

Greenwell traveled to Prince Georges County where he was arrested on criminal charges issued by the Grand Jury. The question of Greenwell’s sanity was examined as he faced robbery with a deadly weapon charge, with burglary and theft charges accompanying the array of allegations resulting in his commitment to the PG County jail on December 7, 1995.  On March 22, 1996, Circuit Court Judge Missouri ordered the criminal charges against Greenwell sent to the Juvenile Court.  Greenwell was sent to the Clifton T. Perkins State Mental hospital to decide if he was indeed crazy or just a ploy to keep from going to prison.  The report from the hospital was sealed, according to court records, filed on June 3, 1996.  Greenwell’s attorneys withdrew his not guilty plea by reason of insanity on October 2, 1996, and filed an Alford Plea, which admits that the prosecution has enough evidence to convict him and give him a stretch in the state prison.

Prince Georges County Circuit Court Judge Spellbring sentenced Greenwell on October 11, 1996, to leave the PG County Jail and spend ten years in the Maryland Prison.  Looking back on his actions, Greenwell might have realized that living in Hills Trailer Park in Great Mills was actually preferable to his new digs.  When Greenwell lived in a trailer on Little Girl’s Way in Hills Trailer Park, he was charged with first-degree assault and entered a guilty plea in Calvert County District Court where he ended with two months in jail.

  • Michael Eugene Abell DWI-drugs by St. Mary's Sheriff's Department Deputy Andrew Budd.

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