Car crash near mall ends chase by police Driver to face charge of attempted murder

January 30, 1996|By TaNoah V. Sterling | TaNoah V. Sterling,SUN STAFF

A Brooklyn Park man is accused of leading state police on a 15-minute high-speed chase yesterday that ended just outside Annapolis in a head-on collision with a car stopped at a traffic light.

Anthony Lee Henson, 20, of the 5200 block of Audrey Ave., is in fair condition at the Prince George's Trauma Center. Police said he will be charged with attempted murder, assault with a vehicle, fleeing and eluding police, possession of marijuana, unauthorized use of a vehicle, speeding, and other traffic charges.

Mr. Henson's passenger and the driver of the other car were injured.

"I can't say why there wasn't someone injured sooner," said state police spokesman Mike McKelvin. "Certainly the man was driving erratic enough."

Police do not know why the driver of the late-model, white Toyota Camry tried to elude five cruisers during a chase that reached 90 mph, ran red lights and at times crossed into oncoming traffic.

Trooper Stephen Irving was westbound on U.S. 50 near Davidsonville shortly before 1:30 p.m. when he saw the driver make an illegal U-turn into westbound traffic. The trooper turned on his emergency lights and siren and attempted to pull the car over, but the man drove on at a legal speed, police said.

When the trooper pulled up next to the car, the driver swerved and tried to run the cruiser off the road, police said. The man turned north on Route 3 and again tried to ram the trooper, police said.

Trooper Irving called for backup and followed the driver at speeds up to 90 mph through Crofton.

Several times, the man drove into oncoming traffic even when his lanes were clear. Troopers surrounded the car to shield and warn other motorists, police said.

The man turned south onto Interstate 97 and then south onto Generals Highway in Crownsville with five cruisers in pursuit, police said. He turned east onto Defense Highway at Annapolis Mall, but saw his lane blocked by cars waiting at the traffic light at Riva Road, police said.

The man drove into oncoming traffic to get around the cars and slammed head-on into a blue Toyota waiting to turn left onto Riva Road, police said.

Investigators said the man did not slow down or swerve.

"It was a loud bang that you just knew something went wrong," said Judith King, who saw the accident from Pier 1 Imports in the 2000 block of West St. "Both the white car and the blue car were absolutely totaled."

Witnesses said police surrounded the white Camry.

"It looked like Oklahoma City out there," said Phillip Ley, assistant manager of a nearby Waxie Maxies. "There were so many police cars, ambulances and fire trucks, you'd think a bomb went off."

The passenger in the Camry, Patricia A. Martin, 33, of the 300 block of 6th Ave. in Brooklyn Park, is in fair condition at Prince George's Trauma Center.

The driver of the blue Toyota, Suzanne Scarborough, 39, of the 1500 block of Widows Mite Road in Annapolis, was taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center.

Officials did not release her condition.

Police said they found a small amount of marijuana in the car, which they believe Mr. Henson borrowed without permission.

Officers closed 100 yards of Defense Highway between Riva Road and the U.S. 50 exit for about two hours while police investigated the accident.

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