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NEW INFO: Baltimore Area Authorities Raid Home of SIST's Avraham Cohen

By: Mikel Lauber Email
By: Mikel Lauber Email

Update 6/10, including information from Baltimore CBS Affiliate WJZ

The man arrested in a raid of the Baltimore-area home of SIST President Avraham Cohen has been questioned and released.

It's possible the assault that gave police access to the suspicious house may have been an accident.

"They weren't sure if a large piece of granite fell on her because she had internal injuries," neighbor Patti Friedman said.

A late night 911 call appeared to be for the assault of an 18-year-old woman, badly injured in a million dollar home in a Pikesville neighborhood.

Then the situation escalated.

Baltimore County Police, SWAT team and snipers surrounded a home in Pikesville after reports of an injured woman inside.

"I was standing right here. I heard a loud explosion. I happened to be filming it and I jumped," said neighbor Manny Perlman.

"Once the house was turned over to the gentleman who purchased it for his organization, the behavior has always been very unusual," said neighbor Patti Friedman.

Neighbors say a lot of the activity happened in the garage and they also saw a lot of white vans with license plates from Minnesota coming and going.

"They are always doing work on the house. There's always hammering and noises. There have been times over the years that we had a lot of static on our phones. If the doors were open, you could tell there was no furniture on the main level," said Janice Perlman.

Cohen, also known as Rama Behera and Samanta Roy, bought the Pikesville house about 10 years ago.

"I'm so thankful that the police are here and that they're finally going to find out what really is going on in that house," said Janice Perlman.

Baltimore County served a search and seizure warrant, but couldn't say what they found inside.

Police say the people at the house are not cooperative and are telling them conflicting stories.

The woman is still in the hospital and is expected to survive. No one has been charged.

6/9/2010

Baltimore County police tell NewsChannel 7 they are in contact with the FBI and authorities in Shawano County in connection to a raid of a home in Pikesville, MD.

A department spokesman says they used a warrent to enter a residence on the 3700 block of Michelle Way Wednesday morning. One person was taken into custody in that raid. That person has since been questioned and released. The home is owned by Avraham Cohen, the President of the Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology. Police say they do not believe Cohen is directly involved, but other members of his group may be.

There is no word whether anything was confiscated in the raid, but police said they were executing a search and siezure warrant.

The raid came after investigators say a young woman was assaulted inside the home. She was taken to the hospital with serious injuries, including internal injuries. We have no reports of her identity or condition.

Police refused to say the FBI's role in today's raid. They confirmed they are in contact with both the FBI and Shawano area authorities. The FBI has an open, active investigation into an apparent hit list in the Shawano area. SIST has been connected to that investigation. Shawano Police Chief Ed Whealon says there has not been any recent local law enforcement action conneted to SIST.


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