Man Charged In Auto Chase Free On $5,000 Bond

July 25, 1991|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,Staff writer

The Brooklyn Park man who police say led them on a 120-mile auto chase through the county and Baltimore City early Tuesday morning was released from the County Detention Center last night after his parents posted his bail.

During a bail review hearing yesterday in District Court, Judge Clayton Greene Jr. reduced Edward Thomas Crenshaw's bail from $25,000 to $5,000.

"It's not his fault they can't drive as well as he can," his wife, Dana Crenshaw, said before the hearing. "He just out-drove them -- that's all there is to it."

Edward Crenshaw, 22, of the 5200 blockof Patrick Henry Drive is charged with four counts of assault with intent to murder, four counts of destruction of property and 11 traffic citations.

Although police said Crenshaw threatened his wife's life during a domestic dispute that touched off the chase, she apparently was not concerned about her safety yesterday in court.

"Yes please, send him home," she told the court. "He makes our money."

The chase, which eventually involved 46 police cars and a state police helicopter, started shortly after midnight when officer David Smith spotted Crenshaw in his 1987 Ford Ranger a few blocks from his parents' Elwell Court home. Crenshaw's wife had called 911, saying he had threatened to shoot or beat her, police said.

In court yesterday, Dana Crenshaw denied that her husband threatened her with a gun.

Police say Edward Crenshaw sped through the county via Interstate 97, the Harbor Tunnel Thruway and routes as far south as Benfield Boulevardand as far west as Route 32 in Odenton. He caused an accident between two county police cars and rammed two state toll facilities police cars, they say. Two county officers were injured in an accident he caused, police say, when he tried to run them off the road near the tunnel and their cars crashed into each other.

Crenshaw rear-ended a passing motorist with his pickup during the pursuit, police say. The motorist was uninjured.

The pursuit ended at about 1:44 a.m. when Crenshaw, who lives with his wife and 15-month-old daughter, Amber, in Brooklyn Park, drove back to his parents' house in Glen Burnie.

At one point during the chase, Smith said, he was following Crenshaw down Interstate 97 at about 85 or 90 mph when Crenshaw pulled in front of him.

"He tried to ram me," he said. "I tried to pull parallelto him and he tried to run me off the road. He was going from side to side to keep people from passing him."

County police spokesman Officer Tom Kinnane said officers continued with the chase because Crenshaw demonstrated violent behavior.

"You have to assume that he had a gun," he said. "To let him go would have been irresponsible. He could have driven around all night and then gone to a day care centerand held 30 kids hostage."

Crenshaw appeared at the hearing via closed-circuit television. His arm was in a sling. He would not comment during the proceedings.

According to his attorney, Joseph Touhey, Crenshaw has a 10th-grade education and works as an auto mechanic at a Sears, Roebuck and Co. store in Glen Burnie. Touhey asked that the bail be reduced; state prosecutors asked that it be increased.

"The defendant intentionally turned his cars on the police officers," Assistant State's Attorney Larry Caporale said. "These are serious charges, and the state could make a case of assault with intent to murder."

Dana Crenshaw said the argument between her and her husband began when she told him she was leaving him for a while and would be staying with her in-laws. She said she told him she would call when she was ready to talk.

"I didn't think it would go this far," she said. "I was kind of hoping he would just leave me alone for a while."

She said her husband aspires to be a race-car driver and is re-building a 1970s Mustang in their backyard.

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