AIDS
Attack

Towson, MD
May 20, 1999

Reporter: Jennefer Gilbert
Photographers: WBFF / WNUV Staff

  The bizarre attack occurred just over a week ago, at a gas station on Joppa Road and Virginia Avenue, in Towson. What a terrifying ordeal for 20 year old Towson University student. She thought she was being a good samaritan, for a young man who looked like another student. Now, she is filled with the fear that she may have been infected with the virus that causes aids.

Jennefer Gilbert: It happened May 11th. Last Tuesday, in broad daylight, right around noon.

Vickie Warehime / Baltimore County Police: "We received a call from a woman who said she was at the gas station checking her oil when she was approached by a man who asked her for money."

The young woman agreed to speak with us by phone. She picks up the story from there.

Victim: "I said I didn't have any money. I said I only had a dollar. He said that would do. He put one arm around me and kissed my cheek, he put another arm around me and stabbed me with a needle, and said welcome to reality you have HIV."

Warnings of similar attacks with HIV tainted needles have been circulating on the Internet. Patrons at this gas station today were shocked to learn, what sounded like an Internet hoax could happen here.

Kira Nazelrod / Gas Station Customer: "They have a needle and it says welcome to my world or something ridiculous. I've heard about that happening. I can't believe it's like right in this area."

Lloyd Moxley / Gas Station Customer: "That's more than just a robbery then, that's assault with a deadly weapon if it is what it is."

When the young woman described the man who attacked her the description ran a bell with police. Frank Francsi Ronuckeo was a well known pan handler around here. Police were able to track him down, and they found him carrying a needle.

Vickie Warehime / Baltimore County Police: "We don't understand his motive, we don't know why he did it or why he picked this person."

Victims Mother: "this is a threat she's going to have to live with for the rest of her life. No one knows in six months if a negative test is negative. It's never ever going to go away."

Because of privacy reasons, police can't confirm for us that they will ask the accused attacker to undergo an HIV test. Nor will they be able to release those results. As for the young woman, her initial test was negative. She is receiving a lot of anti-viral medication, and will have to be re-tested in six months, and then in a year. But as her mother said, it is a fear that will never go away.

The attacker, Frank Ronuckeo, is only 24 years old but he has been arrested many times, for things like drug possession, burglary, and theft. He most recently lived in southeast Baltimore, but many of his arrest records say address unknown.

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© 1999 Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.