- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 5, 2002

BALTIMORE (AP) A 20-year-old man mistakenly shot by an FBI agent may have been reaching for his seat belt at the time, his attorney said yesterday.
Joseph Schultz remained in serious but stable condition yesterday at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Attorney Joseph Asensio said the right side of Mr. Schultz's right jaw bone is shattered, and a bullet remains lodged in the side of his jaw. Mr. Schultz's nasal passages are also damaged, and he is breathing with the help of a ventilator, his attorney said.
Two FBI agents were looking for a bank robber when they pulled over Mr. Schultz and his girlfriend, Krissy Harkum,16, about 6 p.m. Friday in Pasadena. She was driving the two home from a shopping mall.
FBI spokesman Barry Maddox would not say yesterday what led the agents to pull over Miss Harkum's red Pontiac Grand Am. Mr. Schultz was not armed and was not connected to the bank robbery, the spokesman said.
On Sunday, the FBI arrested the man they were looking for.
The suspect, Michael Blottenberger, was picked up in Anne Arundel County Sunday night and was in federal custody yesterday, awaiting a first appearance before a court magistrate. Mr. Blottenberger is charged with robbing an Allfirst bank branch Feb. 20, Mr. Maddox said.
The FBI was left in the position yesterday of expressing regret for the shooting while releasing little information. Mr. Maddox said agency policy prevents the FBI from releasing details while an internal investigation is under way.
"We're very sorry it happened, and we wish it never would have happened," Mr. Maddox said. "It'll be investigated to bring out the facts, and those will be turned over the Department of Justice."
Mr. Asensio said Miss Harkum and Mr. Schultz were ordered to put their hands up and get out of the car. They were moving to get out when Miss Harkum heard a shot fired and she yelled, "Don't shoot me."
Both were pulled from the car, forced to the ground and handcuffed before agents called a helicopter to transport Mr. Schultz to the trauma center, the attorney said.
"You've got the FBI, who are supposed to be their reputation is having the best police enforcement training and apparently for no reason shoot someone in the face," Mr. Asensio said.
Mr. Asensio said Miss Harkum told him the agents pulled alongside them in an unmarked car, displayed their rifles and forced them to the side of the road.
Mr. Maddox wouldn't disclose the FBI's "deadly force" policy what gives agents the go-ahead to fire while making an arrest. Mr. Schultz was not armed, Mr. Maddox said.
Joseph Harkum, Miss Harkum's father, said Mr. Schultz was unable to speak while being treated at the trauma center, but wrote his girlfriend a note asking, "Why did he shoot me?"


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