A 15-year-old Prince George's County runaway was critically wounded by a Howard County police officer yesterday after a high-speed chase involving a stolen car.
The wounded boy was flown by state police helicopter to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he was reported in critical condition last night with a gunshot wound to the left shoulder, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Sgt. Robert Adams, a Howard County police spokesman, gave this account of the incident, which began shortly after midnight:
Officer Kevin Meile tried to stop a 1985 Toyota 4-Runner that was speeding on Interstate 70 near Route 97 in Cooksville.
Instead of pulling over, the truck led Officer Meile on a chase at speeds in excess of 75 mph. Officer Meile learned through radio communications that the truck had been reported stolen Aug. 5 from a Montgomery County hospital. The 4-Runner left I-70 in Lisbon and traveled south on Route 94 and east on Route 144.
Officer Charles A. Walker joined the chase, and the two police cars boxed in the stolen 4-Runner, forcing it to stop.
The 4-Runner rammed Officer Walker's car.
As Officer Meile got out of his patrol car, the truck backed into him, knocking him to the ground and ramming his car.
The truck drove toward Officer Walker, who fired, striking the teen-ager in the shoulder as he drove away.
Other officers who had been called to the scene stopped the truck about a mile away.
A shotgun and tools used for breaking into cars were found in the 4-Runner.
Two passengers in the truck, 13-year-old and 14-year-old girls, were not injured. They were charged as juveniles with felony and misdemeanor theft and released to their parents, police said.
Sergeant Adams said the driver, who was reported as a runaway in May, faces similar juvenile charges and citations for motor vehicle violations.
Officer Walker was placed on administrative duties pending a police investigation of the incident, Sergeant Adams said.
The chase was the second in as many days involving a teen-ager in a stolen car in the Baltimore area.
On Tuesday, a stolen car spotted by a Baltimore police officer rammed into an MTA bus at Washington Boulevard and Carey Street forcing the bus into a church.
The 14-year-old believed to be the driver of that car escaped.