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Tip Leads To Arrest of Different Man

February 15, 1998

LINTHICUM, Md. (AP) _ An FBI tip that the man suspected in the Alabama abortion clinic bombing was on a flight to Baltimore led to the arrest Saturday of a man with the same name and similar looks as the suspect.

Eric Farley Rudolph, 26, of Baltimore, was arrested at Baltimore-Washington International Airport as he left a plane arriving from Cincinnati. He was subsequently charged with drug possession.

``We took him into custody, fingerprinted him and interviewed him and it became clear to us very quickly that this was not the man the FBI was looking for,″ said Maryland Transit Authority Police Spokeswoman Lori Vidil.

The FBI is looking for Eric Robert Rudolph, 31, who was identified Saturday as a suspect in the nation’s first fatal bombing of an abortion clinic.

Vidil said police were working off an FBI tip that said a man named ``Rudolph″ was on the flight.

She said the man on the flight and the suspect were both born in September, although in different years, and are similar in height and weight.

``He does resemble the other man, his friends were even joking him about the resemblance,″ said Vidil.

After being arrested at BWI, Erik Rudolph was charged with one count of possessing marijuana and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, Vidil said. He was being held pending a bail hearing.

Federal agents have offered a $100,000 reward in the bombing case and have pleaded with Eric Robert Rudolph to turn himself in.

His truck was spotted near the New Woman All Women Clinic in Birmingham, Ala., on Jan. 29, the morning an explosion killed an off-duty policeman working as a security guard and critically injured a nurse.

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