A Baltimore police officer was slightly injured yesterday when a man suspected in a stolen-check scheme tried to drive away with the officer's arm caught between the window and door frame of the car.
Officer Robert Gaskins of the Central District managed to free himself and fire a shot at the car as it headed up the 200 block of North Calvert Street in the early afternoon traffic.
His shot struck the right rear quarter panel of the car but did not hit the driver, who continued onto the Jones Falls Expressway and was eventually pulled over near the Falls Road exit.
The incident began about 2 p.m. when a man carrying a baby walked into the Maryland National Bank in the 200 block of North Calvert Street and attempted to cash a check from a doctor's office in Baltimore County, said Agent Arlene K. Jenkins, a police spokeswoman.
Suspicious bank employees contacted the doctor, learned that the check had been stolen and notified the police, Agent Jenkins said.
When officers arrived at the bank, the man told them that he had been given the check to cash by another man who was sitting in a gray, 1983 Plymouth Sunbird parked across the street and behind a parking lot.
Officer Gaskins approached the car and reached in the open window to turn off the ignition.
However, the man sitting behind the wheel quickly rolled up the window, trapping the officer's arm, and drove off. According to the police, Officer Gaskins fell to the ground as he pulled his arm free and, thinking that the driver of the car was reaching for a gun, drew his service revolver and fired.
As the car sped north on the expressway, police radio cars were sent to cover exit ramps.
Eventually, Officer Mark B. Dickel of the K-9 section managed to pull the suspect to the side of the expressway near the Falls Road exit. The driver was arrested without incident.
Both suspects, a 29-year-old man and a 34-year-old man, were taken to the Central District where charges were to be brought.
Agent Jenkins said the 19-month-old child, which belonged to the 34-year-old suspect, was being cared for at the Central District until police could locate its mother.
Officer Gaskins was treated at Mercy Medical Center for an injury to his right leg and released.