Pair shot at, tried to run down officer Passenger in auto in critical condition

March 21, 1992|By Roger Twigg | Roger Twigg,Staff Writer

A 34-year-old man remained in critical condition at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center last night after he was shot in the head by a Baltimore police officer Thursday.

The victim, Abe O'Neil Leslie of the 900 block of Nottingham Road, was a passenger in a 1984 Volkswagen Jetta that attempted to run down Sgt. Paul L. Abell Jr., 31, of the Southwestern District, said Agent Arlene K. Jenkins, a police spokeswoman.

The driver, David Arthur Cuthrell, 23, of the 2000 block of Hillenwood Road in Northeast Baltimore, suffered head and facial cuts when the car's windshield was shattered by the gunfire. He was released from the Maryland Shock Trauma Center yesterday and was facing charges of attempted murder, assault and narcotics violations, police said.

Agent Jenkins said the shooting occurred just after 11 p.m. Thursday when Sergeant Abell and Officer William L. Marcus left their patrol car to check out a car while it was stopped in a known drug area in the 500 block of Denison St.

As the officers approached the car, it sped off into an alley in the rear of the 3300 block of Edmondson Ave., where it stopped with its lights out, the spokeswoman said.

Officer Marcus jumped into the patrol car and sped around the block to cut off the car while Sergeant Abell, an 11-year veteran, entered the alley on foot.

As the sergeant walked up the narrow alley, the driver of the car accelerated backward toward him, Agent Jenkins said.

She said the sergeant ran along a 10-foot-high wall to an opening in the alley where the car swerved and continued racing toward him at a high rate of speed.

The sergeant -- backed up against a pile of rubbish and discarded furniture -- yelled twice for the driver to stop and then fired four shots in the direction of the car, police said.

The vehicle then crashed into a house on Denison Street, jamming both doors. Both occupants had to be extricated by firefighters.

Police said two bags of marijuana were found on Mr. Cuthrell.

Detectives conferred with Timothy Doory, head of the state's attorney's Violent Crimes Unit, who declined to bring charges against the sergeant.

The matter remains under investigation, police said.

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