Entries in Cal Ripken Jr. (4)


Cal Ripken Jr. Seeks Help in Finding Mom’s Abductor

MIKE THEILER/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. says his mother feels violated and has not been able to return to her home since being abducted at gunpoint there earlier this month.

“She’s not back in her home yet, so I guess that gives you some indication of how she’s feeling,” Ripken said Friday on ABC's Good Morning America.  ”Her sense of security is violated.”

“She’s a tough woman, but it’s a very traumatic ordeal,” he said.

Vi Ripken, 74, was abducted at gunpoint from her home northeast of Baltimore the morning of July 24.  Police say the suspect, who remains at large, approached her and used a handgun to force her into her 1998 Lincoln Town Car.

Around 8:30 p.m. that day, the Aberdeen, Md., police received a phone call from the Baltimore County Police about a suspicious vehicle parked on private property.  By the time officers arrived, the vehicle was gone but using the license plate number provided in the call, the car was tracked to Mrs. Ripken, Lt. Fred Budnick told ABC News.

“We didn’t even know that mom was missing until a 911 call came in that identified her car,” Cal Ripken said Friday.  “She was doing her normal day’s activities.  She got up very early and was met in her garage at gunpoint and tied up and put in her car.  She was driven around for about 23 hours.”

At around 6:15 a.m., the next morning, Vi Ripken was “located unharmed in her vehicle in close proximity to her residence,” police said.

“Who knows what actually happened in the car for that period of time,” Cal Ripken said.  “Mom tries to articulate it, but really it was just her trying to stay calm and her trying to hope and believe that she was going to be returned.”

Ripken, a baseball icon who played shortstop and third base for the Baltimore Orioles for 21 years, said his family and police have not been able to determine if there was a motive behind the abduction, possibly linked to his famous name.

“All indications are there was no real reference to mom or the name,” he said.  “It could be anything and that’s the bizarre nature of this case is that it could be a random act or it could be one that was much deeper than that.”

Police on Tuesday released a surveillance video that shows the suspect at a nearby store during the time Vi Ripken was missing.

The surveillance video, from a store in Anne Arundel, Md., shows a man wearing dark pants, a white shirt, and a red and black baseball cap.  The man fits the police department’s description of the suspect being white, tall, thin and in his 30s or 40s.

Investigators have released a composite sketch of the suspect.  The investigation is ongoing, and police are offering a $2,000 reward for any tips that lead to a conviction.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Photo of Ripken Kidnapping Suspect Released by Police

Aberdeen Police Department(ABERDEEN, Md.) -- A photo of the man suspected of abducting the mom of baseball hall of famer Cal Ripken Jr. was released on Thursday by Maryland cops.

The photo shows a man walking into what appears to be a store wearing a white button-down shirt and an orange and black baseball cap.  Police describe the suspect as a white male, approximately 5-foot-10 with short brown hair and glasses.

Vi Ripken, 74, was abducted sometime between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Tuesday by a man who used a handgun to force her into her 1998 Lincoln Town Car, according to the Aberdeen Police Department.  She was found unharmed in her car on Wednesday near her home, but was "restrained and confined," according to the Baltimore FBI.

The kidnapper is still on the loose and police believe he is armed "and should be considered to be dangerous."

Earlier on Thursday, Baltimore FBI spokesman Rich Wolf told ABC News that investigators were searching for a surveillance camera that may have caught the suspect.  He said authorities are looking into surveillance footage and money machines as possible sources of an image of the suspect.

Authorities are also trying to determine whether Ripken's abduction was related to her famous family.

"That's exactly what they're trying to do, find out whether this guy knew who she was before he took her," Wolf said.  "We think that will be a key to the case."

Aberdeen police said they "know of no ransom" and Wolf could not say if Ripken's bank account had been accessed while she was being held by the suspect.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Cal Ripken Jr.'s Mother Abducted, Found Safe

MIKE THEILER/AFP/Getty Images(ABERDEEN, Md.) -- Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr.'s mother was found safe today after she'd been abducted at gunpoint from her home northeast of Baltimore.

Vi Ripken, 74, was abducted sometime between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Tuesday by a man who approached her and used a handgun to force her into her 1998 Lincoln Town Car, according to the Aberdeen, Md., Police Department.

Around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Aberdeen police received a phone call from the Baltimore County Police about a suspicious parked vehicle.

At around 6:15 a.m., Ripken was "located unharmed in her vehicle in close proximity to her residence," police said. Paramedics said she wasn't injured, and Ripken is now resting at home with her family.

A spokesperson for the Baltimore FBI told ABC News that Ripken was "confined and restrained" when police found her.

The Ripken family released the following statement, according to ABC News' Baltimore affiliate WMAR:

"As you now know, our mother was abducted at gunpoint from her home yesterday morning. This has been a very trying time for our family, but we are grateful and relieved that mom is back with us, safe and healthy. We want to thank everyone for their tremendous support, especially all of the law enforcement agencies that worked so hard and quickly. This is an ongoing investigation, so we hope everyone understands that we cannot comment further at this time."

The Aberdeen police told ABC News that they could not comment on whether demands were made for Ripken's return or if her abduction was related to her famous son.

Cal Ripken Jr. played shortstop and third base for the Baltimore Orioles for 21 years. He is perhaps best known for playing 2,632 consecutive games during his career, breaking Lou Gehrig's record. Ripken's brother Billy Ripken also played for the Orioles, and their father, Cal Ripken Sr., managed them both for a time.

Police are searching for a white, male suspect in his late 30s or early 40s who was last seen wearing a light-colored shirt, camouflage pants and eyeglasses. He was armed with a handgun.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Celebrities Unaware of Sandusky Charity Board Membership

Indigo/Getty Images(STATE COLLEGE, Pa.) -- The allegations of sexual molestation of young boys leveled against a former Penn State football coach have shocked the nation, but a few celebrities were in for another jolt when they found out their names were directly tied to the coach's and apparently had been for years.

From movie star Mark Wahlberg to baseball icon Cal Ripken Jr. and golf legend Arnold Palmer, a handful of household names were listed on the Honorary Board for the Second Mile Foundation, the charity former Penn State defensive coach Jerry Sandusky founded in the 1970s and, according to investigators, used to meet some of his alleged victims. Sandusky currently faces dozens of charges surrounding the alleged sexual abuse of several young boys over a 15 year period. He has admitted to showering with some of the boys, but maintains he is innocent of any criminal acts.

Some of the celebrities, like Wahlberg and Ripken Jr., said they never had any idea they were on the board and only had a passing acquaintance with the charity.

In a statement to ABC News, a representative for Wahlberg said he had only made a couple donations to the charity and never participated in any events. Ripken Jr. was so surprised that he asked Second Mile to remove his name from the list last week, according to a report from The Baltimore Sun. Second Mile has since removed the list completely from their website.

A representative for Palmer said he did not know how the golfer made his way onto the board, but it was possibly because Palmer is a Pennsylvania native.

"You know how honorary boards work, where they just like to add a name to the honorary board," Cori Britt, Vice President of Arnold Palmer Enterprises, told ABC News Wednesday. "[Palmer] never performed any functions, never attended any of the meetings or did any activities surrounding Second Mile.

"It was purely by name only," he said.

Britt said that at the time Palmer's name was added, however, Palmer had most likely given the charity permission to do so.

Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid told ESPN he was "unaware" he was a member of the board and former Notre Dame coach and ESPN analyst Lou Holtz found himself in a similar position when he penned a statement about his connection to the charity last week.

"Only yesterday did I realize I was on their advisory board," Holtz wrote. "I have had no contact or correspondence with Second Mile or Jerry Sandusky since 2009 with the exception of thank you notes for one of their most successful events.

"If the allegations are true, I, like the many good people who support Second Mile, am upset over being misled," Holtz said.

Second Mile did not respond to a request for comment on this report.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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