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Assault Charge for Man on Track

May 17, 1999

BALTIMORE (AP) _ The 22-year-old man who stood on the track at Pimlico as horses raced past him down the stretch was being held today on a first-degree assault charge, a correction official said.

Lee Ferrell, of Bel Air, Md., was being held at Baltimore’s central booking facility, said Barbara Cooper, a spokeswoman for the Division of Pretrial Detention and Services.

Police spokeswoman Angelique Cook-Hayes said Ferrell was taken at first to Sinai Hospital for a psychiatric review, but was released from the hospital Saturday night. Hospital spokeswoman Amy Mickolite refused to comment on whether Ferrell had been at the facility, citing hospital policy.

The incident occurred several hundred yards from the finish line during the seventh race Saturday, about 2 1/2 hours before the running of the Preakness.

Ferrell made his way to the track from the infield, crossed a fence separating the fans from the turf course, staggered to the inside rail, which he pounded with his fist before ducking under it, and walked onto the main track.

As the horses approached, he stood with his fists clenched and arms upraised. As the horses charged by on both sides, Ferrell can be seen in videotape replays apparently punching at two horses.

In addition to first- and second-degree assault, Ferrell was charged with reckless endangerment, endangering others through intoxication, disorderly conduct, trespassing and resisting arrest. He was held Sunday on $2,500 bond.

Ferrell was taken to the hospital for a psychiatric review because of his behavior and comments he made to officers after his arrest, police said Saturday.

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