Police in Maryland and Pennsylvania continued to search today for two men who severely beat a Baltimore County police officer and stole his pistol.
The incident last night off Interstate 83 near Maryland Line prompted a manhunt in the two states for two men in a stolen beige Chevrolet Monte Carlo, bearing Maryland dealer's tags.
Police said they think the men crossed into Pennsylvania, a few hundred yards away.
Baltimore police, officers from Baltimore and Harford counties, and state police from Maryland and Pennsylvania joined in the search.
Reports broadcast this morning named two suspects. However, a police spokesman said officers were looking for two men for questioning but had issued no arrest warrants.
Investigators said Darryl J. Chesney, 26, a five-year veteran of the Baltimore County force, was on patrol on deserted, icy Harris Mill Road near Dunk Freeland Road about 8:25 p.m. when he ordered the driver of the beige car to pull over.
The area is extremely isolated and dark -- the nearest house is a half-mile away -- and is surrounded by thick woods.
Sgt. Stephen R. Doarnberger, a county police spokesman, said Officer Chesney reported his location by radio from his squad car and reported the tag number of the vehicle he had stopped -- 1A47651.
Police later learned that the car had been stolen from a dealer in the 6200 block of Belair Road in Baltimore, but Officer Chesney was not aware of that, Sergeant Doarnberger said.
What happened next is unclear, but the driver and another man in the stolen car apparently beat Officer Chesney in the head with a blunt object, possibly his heavy-duty flashlight, and then stole his 9mm semiautomatic service pistol. Despite serious head injuries, Officer Chesney was able to push an emergency button on his portable police radio to signal that he was in trouble.
A woman who drove by the scene saw Officer Chesney hanging halfway out of his cruiser, with the engine still running and the emergency lights on top flashing. The woman, who lives on the narrow, winding rural lane, went home and returned with her husband to comfort the wounded officer, Sergeant Doarnberger said.
An ambulance from the Freeland Volunteer Fire Company was the first emergency vehicle to arrive to treat Officer Chesney, whose head was so bloody that first reports said he had been shot.
Officer Chesney, who lives with his wife in Hampstead, Carroll County, was flown by a State Police MedEvac helicopter to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he was in serious but stable condition today.
Police who interviewed Officer Chesney said he suffered a large gash over one eye that required nine stitches to close.
No shots were fired during the attack, police said.
Police received several reports of sightings of a beige Monte Carlo in the hours after the beating. One put it at the nearby Maryland Line Inn on York Road, where witnesses said that a man got out of such a car and used an outdoor pay phone.
The assailants were described as white males, one about 5 feet 6 with blond hair, the other taller. Officer Chesney told investigators they spoke with New York or Boston accents.
But police said the assailants are probably locals because they appeared to know the area well.