Police Captain Fined For Violating Departmental Policy In Chase

April 16, 1992|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,Staff writer

A county police captain has been fined $1,000 for violating departmental policy during a high-speed chase in which officers threw fire extinguishers at the fleeing car, police sources familiar with the investigation said.

Chief Robert Russell fined Capt. Richard Smith, who heads the Criminal Investigations Division, after he waived his right to a departmental trial board, leaving him open to a suspension, demotion, fine, or other punishment at the chief's discretion, police sources said.

The fine is one of the largest handed down within the department in the last 10 years, the sources said.

Smith was ranking officer during the July 24 chase that lasted an hour and 45 minutes and covered 120 miles.

Sgt. William Darner of the Western District station,responsible for overseeing patrol officers in the chase, has been charged departmentally with improper supervision and reporting practices, the sources said.

His administrative hearing has been scheduledfor July 14, police said. An administrative hearing for Officer Gerald Jones, a Northern District patrolman, is scheduled for June 17.

Jones is charged departmentally with using excessive force while arresting the driver, Edward Thomas Crenshaw, of the 400 block of ElwellCourt in Glen Burnie. The charge stems from an anonymous report thatan officer beat Crenshaw.

During the chase, officers took positions on bridge overpasses along Route 3 and threw fire extinguishers and flares at Crenshaw's pick-up truck as he passed.

Two officers received minor injuries when their cruisers collided outside the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel.

The chase began when Crenshaw's wife, Dana, called county police and said her husband had been drinking all day and threatened her with a gun. She later denied that he had threatened her.

After driving in circles around the county, with police following close behind, Crenshaw finally stopped in front of his home. He was charged with four counts of assault with intent to murder, four counts of destruction of property and 11 traffic violations.

He was convicted Feb. 18 on two counts of assault, two counts of destruction of property, reckless and negligent driving, and fleeing and eluding.Assault with intent to murder charges were dropped. Sentencing is scheduled for April 24.

Smith, a 21-year veteran of the department, also is under investigation by police Internal Affairs investigators for alleged sexual harassment of two female civilian employees.

Police sources said one of the women complained that Smith locked himself in her office and made sexually explicit comments to her. He has not been charged departmentally or criminally.

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