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 from the scene of the attack.
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 want 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 to the side of the dark, isolated road.
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 dealer's license tags had been stolen from an employee's car at A&B Auto Sales, in the 6200 block of Belair Road in Baltimore.
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 pistol. Officer Chesney was able to push an emergency button on his portable police radio to signal 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.
A Freeland Volunteer Fire Company ambulance crew first treated Officer Chesney, whose head was so bloody that early reports said he had been shot.
He was flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. He was in serious but stable condition today.
Police said Officer Chesney suffered a large gash over one eye that required nine stitches to close.
"He's a conscientious, good patrolman," said a supervisor, Lt. Barry Barber, of Officer Chesney. "He tries to learn the area and the people, not just ride around in the patrol car."
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 was about 5 feet 6, with a stocky build, and wearing a gray sport coat and pants and a snap-brim hat. He spoke with a heavy New York accent. The other was taller, with long, greasy, brown hair, and wore a blue work shirt and pants, police said.