City detective chases suspect into his own car

April 19, 1991|By Roger Twigg

A Baltimore police detective and his wife were slightly injured yesterday when the detective stopped on his way to work to capture a fleeing purse snatcher, who in turn tried to steal the detective's car, the police said.

The incident began at 6:40 a.m. as Detective Horace F. Comegna, 47, of the Criminal Investigation Division, was driving to police headquarters on Fayette Street with his wife, Barbara Comegna.

As they drove down the 500 block of St. Paul Street, Detective Comegna saw a man being chased by a security guard from a downtown office building. The detective stopped his car and helped chase the man, who tried to evade the pursuers by sliding under a parked car, the police said.

When Detective Comegna went after the suspect, the man crawled from beneath the parked car and jumped into the detective's own car with Mrs. Comegna still in the passenger seat. Detective Comegna reached into the window and grabbed the man as he attempted to drive off. The car slammed into a parked vehicle, slightly injuring Mrs. Comegna; Detective Comegna was injured when the suspect bit him on the right index finger. Both were taken to Mercy Medical Center, where they were treated and released.

The suspect, later identified by the police as Ronald Joshua Wingate, 33, of the 600 block of East Chase Street, was taken to the Central District lockup where numerous criminal charges were lodged, the police said.

The stolen purse, which contained $10.40, was recovered.

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