BALTIMORE — A 22-year-old man has been charged for the January murder of a beloved Baltimore restaurant manager.
Samuel Wise is accused of shooting 44-year-old Chesley Patterson to death, during a robbery attempt outside a Fells Point Liquor store.
Patterson was the general manager at La Scala restaurant in Little Italy for 14 years, and had just gotten off work when he was shot. City Councilman Zeke Cohen called him "one of the kindest people in the world."
According to charging documents, Wise and another man went on a robbery spree in the Fells Point area the night of January 23.
Within twelve-minutes, they allegedly assaulted and robbed two other people on Lancaster and Bond Streets before cornering Patterson outside the Bristol Liquor store on Eastern Avenue.
The description of the main suspect was the same in each incident, a passenger traveling in a gold Honda Odyssey Van wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with white logo, armed with a black handgun.
Later that night after the murder, police noticed the van at a gas station on Waterview Road in South Baltimore. It fled when officers tried pulling it over, but was later found abandoned on Southland Avenue.
Crime scene technicians discovered finger prints on the passenger door, that turned out to be Wise's.
During an initial interview, Wise admitted to being the passenger in the gold van the night of the murder.
He also gave investigators permission to look in his phone.
A forensic examination revealed text conversations between Wise and his girlfriend, as well as another individual.
In the text thread with his girlfriend, Wise writes in one message "I'm robbing." About 22 minutes later, she pinged his phone which showed him on Eastern Avenue.
The next morning, that other individual sent Wise a photo from the murder scene, for which he responds "that was us geeking."
A day later, Wise messaged his girlfriend that he's ready to "get booked for a f**k**g murder."
Wise was officially taken into custody on April 12, and according to police tried escaping while being interviewed by detectives at headquarters. He's currently waiting to see a court commissioner.
People who call Little Italy home reacted to news of the arrest differently.
"I feel safer that he’s away and everybody else that he’s not going to hurt anybody else anymore. I'm happy about that," said one resident.
Another resident we spoke to said, I’m unhappy that it had to happen and that he has given his own life now for the rest of his life."
As for the second suspect involved, police identified him as 25-year-old Shamal Scott. He was shot and killed on April 3 on Cedley Street.
At the time of his death, Scott was also facing charges for murdering a Baltimore County man three days after Patterson was killed.