City man charged after 4-hour police chase

September 22, 1996|By Jay Apperson | Jay Apperson,SUN STAFF

Gregory Wallace may have given new meaning to the phrase, "Keep on truckin'."

Police yesterday charged the 32-year-old Baltimore man with stealing a tractor-trailer cab and leading them on a four-hour, "normal speed" pursuit covering 250 miles of Maryland highway. From Baltimore to Delaware, from Delaware to Bethesda, from Bethesda to Elkton, from Elkton to Sparks -- the chase, such as it was, raged on.

Police cruisers tried a rolling roadblock. Police helicopters tracked the chase. The truck kept cruising along at 50 mph to 70 mph.

In their written account, police referred to the incident as an "unusual occurrence."

The chase began about 10 p.m. Friday, when Baltimore police spotted the stolen 1994 General Motors Corp. truck tractor in the 6200 block of Pulaski Highway in Southeast Baltimore. State troopers spotted the truck on northbound Interstate 95 at the Millard Tydings Bridge over the Susquehanna River, but the driver refused to stop when they tried to get him to pull over.

Police said they abandoned the rolling roadblock, in which police cars maneuvered in front of the moving vehicle and tried to bring it to a stop, because the risk of injury to troopers and other drivers was too severe. So they tagged along.

The truck, owned by H & K Equipment Co., made a U-turn at a toll plaza in Delaware, and drove on I-95 south to the Capital Beltway. It turned around again in Bethesda and took I-95 north to Elkton.

Police decided to pull back their cruisers and follow in the helicopter. But the truck turned around in Elkton and eventually returned to the Baltimore area. It turned north onto York Road -- and came to a stop about 2 a.m. yesterday, after striking a guardrail at Belfast Road in Sparks.

Police said that they found a woman in the sleeper section of the cab, but that she appeared to be under the influence of drugs and claimed to know nothing about the chase. The driver's whereabouts were a mystery until about six hours later, when he was found sleeping in a nearby barn.

Police said Wallace is charged with felony theft, driving on a suspended license and numerous traffic violations.

Pub Date: 9/22/96

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