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Tuesday, May 28, 2024 | Back issues
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Bad Behavior,|Even for a Banker

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (CN) - A restaurateur claims in court that the vice president of a bank pulled a double-barreled shotgun on him, shoved it against his forehead and threatened to kill him, in a dispute over who owned the restaurant's equipment.

Frederic Rosenthal and Alonza Motley, an employee of Rosenthal's company C&P Sons, sued CommerceFirst Bank, its alleged shotgun-wielding Vice President Thomas Bolander, and bank President Richard Morgan, alleging assault and battery, in Prince George's County Court.

According to the complaint, the dispute between Rosenthal and his landlord, CommerceFirst Bank, began just before the termination of Rosenthal's lease, when the parties quarreled over who owned what restaurant equipment.

A settlement was reached and a consent order was handed down requiring Rosenthal to remove the equipment that belonged to C&P, according to the complaint. Rosenthal claims that though CommerceFirst withheld comment on some of the equipment in question, it allowed him and his employees to move some of it on Nov. 7, 2011 without incident.

But, Rosenthal says, when he and his workers returned the next day to pick up the rest of the equipment, a CommerceFirst employee called Maryland State Police to report that the C&P team was removing equipment that didn't belong to them.

That's when things turned ugly, Rosenthal says.

According to the complaint, Bolander called the police, told them that he, Bolander, was armed and was on his way to the restaurant to protect the bank's property.

"Upon arriving at the restaurant, Bolander removed a double barrel shotgun from his vehicle, approached Rosenthal with great anger and hostility, placed the double barrel shotgun forcibly to the forehead of Rosenthal, used profanity, and told Rosenthal that he was going to kill him," the complaint states. "Bolander then told Rosenthal to lay on the ground in front of the restaurant. Rosenthal complied. After Rosenthal laid down on the ground, Bolander entered the restaurant with his shotgun in hand.

"Once inside the building, Bolander, wielding the shotgun, threatened C&P's employees and movers, continued to use profanity and shouted that nobody was to touch or move the equipment."

Plaintiff Motley, a C&P officer, approached Bolander, who then "pointed the shotgun toward Motley's chest and face and threatened to shoot him," according to the complaint.

The plaintiffs say Motley made a move for Bolander's gun when he was momentarily distracted, and the two men fell to the floor, struggling for the weapon.

"Motley was successful in taking the shotgun from Bolander and Motley immediately cranked open the shotgun and discovered that it was not loaded," the complaint states.

The police came shortly thereafter and took Bolander away for questioning, according to the complaint.

"Approximately one-half an hour following Bolander's removal, defendant Morgan arrived at the restaurant. Morgan was hostile and approached Rosenthal pushing his finger and fist a number of times into Rosenthal's chest and shouting obscenities at Rosenthal. At no time did Morgan apologize for Bolander's actions, express regrets, or disavow Bolander's actions," the complaint states. (24)

Rosenthal and Motley seek $600,000 in compensatory damages and $3 million in punitive damages, for assault and battery.

They are represented by David Cohan, with of Cohan West, of Baltimore.

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