Police say firefighter abused teens

LANSDOWNE, Md. - At 23-years old, Anthony Cottle had not yet reached the end of his probation as a recent hire of the Baltimore County Fire Department working out of Station Number 5 in Halethorpe, and he also served as a volunteer at the Lansdowne fire house on Lavern Avenue.

His service with both has come to an abrupt halt as allegations surfaced that he sexually abused a pair of 14-year old boys.

"One of the boys came to us last week and reported that he'd been sexually abused by this man while the man was living with his family at their home over in the Wilkens Precinct," said Elise Armacost of the Baltimore County Police Department, "That investigation subsequently revealed that the suspect had also sexually abused one of this boy's friends."

Police say Cottle had befriended the boy and abused him when he was home alone or in his bedroom at night.

They say the teen also caught him in the act of abusing a friend who was visiting him in the home.

While the charging documents have seen sealed to protect the alleged victims' identities, the charges themselves---sexual abuse, assault and sodomy, suggest the extent of the attacks.

"Our detectives believe very strongly that there are other victims in this case so we're asking anyone who sees this person or recognizes him and thinks they may have some information about other victims to please come and talk to us," said Armacost.

Both the Baltimore County Fire Department and the volunteer company have suspended Cottle pending the outcome of the criminal cases against him.

Cottle is being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center on $150,000 bond.

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