171 A.2d 717 (Md. 1961), 248, Griffin v. State

Docket Nº:248.
Citation:171 A.2d 717, 225 Md. 422
Opinion Judge:[10] Horney
Party Name:William L. GRIFFIN et al. v. STATE of Maryland. Cornelia A. GREENE et al. v. STATE of Maryland.
Attorney:[7] Charles T. Duncan, with whom were Joseph H. Sharlitt, Claude B. Kahn and Lee M. Hydeman on the brief, for the appellants.
Case Date:June 08, 1961
Court:Court of Appeals of Maryland

Page 717

171 A.2d 717 (Md. 1961)

225 Md. 422

William L. GRIFFIN et al.


STATE of Maryland.

Cornelia A. GREENE et al.


STATE of Maryland.

No. 248.

Court of Appeals of Maryland.

June 8, 1961

[225 Md. 425] Charles T. Duncan, Washington, D. C. (Claude B. Kahn, Chevy Chase, and Joseph

Page 718

H. Sharlitt and Lee M. Hydeman, Washington, D. C., on the brief), for appellants.

Clayton A. Dietrich, Asst. Atty. Gen. (Thomas B. Finan, Atty. Gen. Leonard T. Kardy, State's Atty., Montgomery County, and James S. McAuliffe, Jr., Asst. State's Atty., Montgomery County, Rockville, on the brief), for appellee.


HORNEY, Judge.

This is a consolidated appeal from ten judgments and sentences to pay fines of one hundred dollars each, entered by the Circuit Court for Montgomery County after separate trials, each involving five defendants, on warrants issued for wanton trespass upon private property in violation of Code (1957), Art. 27, § 577.

The first group of defendants, William L. Griffin, Marvous Saunders, Michael Proctor, Cecil T. Washington, Jr., and Gwendolyn Greene (hereinafter called 'the Griffin appellants' or 'the Griffins'), all of whom are Negroes, were arrested and charged with criminal trespass on June 30, 1960, on property owned by Rekab, Inc., and operated by [225 Md. 426] Kebar, Inc., as the Glen Echo Amusement Park (Glen Echo or park). The second group of defendants, Cornelia A. Greene, Helene D. Wilson, Martin A. Schain, Ronyl J. Stewart and Janet A. Lewis (hereinafter called 'the Greene appellants' or 'the Greenes'), two of whom are Caucasians, were arrested on July 2, 1960, also in Glen Echo, and were also charged with criminal trespass.

The Griffins were a part of a group of thirty-five to forty young colored students who gathered at the entrance to Glen Echo to protest 'the segregation policy that we thought might exist out there.' The students were equipped with signs indicating their disapproval of the admission policy of the park operator, and a picket line was formed to further implement the protest. After about an hour of picketing, the five Griffins left the larger group, entered the park and crossed over it to the carrousel. These appellants had tickets (previously purchased for them by a white person) which the park attendant refused to honor. At the time of this incident, Rekab and Kebar had a 'protection' contract with the National Detective Agency (agency), one of whose employees, Lt. Francis J. Collins (park officer), who is also a special deputy sheriff for Montgomery County, told the Griffins that they were not welcome in the park and asked them to leave. They refused, and after an interval during which the park officer conferred with Leonard Woronoff (park manager), the appellants were advised by the park officer that they were under arrest. They were taken to an office on the park grounds and then to Bethesda, where the trespass warrants were sworn out. At the time the arrests were made, the park officer had on the uniform of the agency, and he testified that he arrested the appellants under the established policy of Kebar of not allowing Negroes in the park. There was no testimony to indicate that any of the Griffins were disorderly in any manner, and it seems to be conceded that the park officer gave them ample time to heed the warning to leave the park had they wanted to do so.

The Greene appellants entered the park three days after the first incident and crossed over it and into a restaurant operated by the B & B Industrial Catering Service, Inc., under [225 Md. 427] an agreement between Kebar and B & B. These appellants asked for service at the counter, were refused, and were advised by the park officer that they were not welcome and were ordered to leave. They refused to comply by turning their backs on him and he placed them under arrest for trespassing. Abram Baker (president...

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