Couple robbed, kidnapped in two cars escape after harrowing ride across two counties

October 29, 1997|By Dail Willis | Dail Willis,SUN STAFF

Two men who allegedly robbed, kidnapped and carjacked a Woodlawn couple got tangled in a two-county comedy of errors early yesterday when they got lost, stopped in front of a state police substation, let one person escape and had two car accidents -- including one where they ran into each other, police said.

The couple survived the harrowing ride with only minor injuries, police said.

Arrested were Alex M. Smith and Jeremiah E. Faulkner, both of no fixed address, police said. They were caught after a lengthy chase that ended with a state police dog cornering one man in an Baltimore County apartment complex.

Both were in custody at the Woodlawn precinct yesterday. They were charged with kidnapping, first-degree burglary, armed robbery, armed carjacking, handgun violations, grand theft and first-degree assault, said Baltimore County police spokesman Sgt. Kevin Novak.

The two kidnap victims, Jeffrey E. Washington, 38, and Joy M. Yoder, 42, both of the 2900 block of Ridge Road, declined to comment yesterday.

"They don't want to be bothered with that," said a man who answered the phone at their home and identified himself as a family member.

How it happened

Police documents give the following account of events:

Washington received a telephone call about 10 p.m. Monday from Smith, who owed him $1,600. Smith told Washington he would repay the loan if Washington would meet him in front of the Marshall's clothing store at Liberty Road and Brenbrook Drive.

When Washington drove his Chevy truck to the parking lot, a man police identified as Smith got in the truck. But instead of giving Washington money, the man pulled out a gun and told Washington to get in the middle part of the seat. A second man, identified by police as Faulkner and called "Pooh" by Smith, got behind the wheel of the truck.

Two seized

The two men tied Washington's hands with cord and electrical tape, put tape over his mouth and drove to Washington's home. They took him into the house, awoke and tied up Yoder, and slapped her several times before locking her in the bathroom with her dog.

The men later let Yoder out, took her wallet, a computer and some other items from the house and took Yoder and Washington outside.

Smith and Washington got in the truck. Faulkner and Yoder got in her 1992 Ford Taurus. The two men drove the cars to Randallstown High School.

Meantime, Washington had worked his hands free and taken a pocketknife out of his trousers, police said. He tried to stab Smith, but the knife wouldn't go through Smith's heavy coat. The stabbing attempt angered Smith, police said, and he said to the other man: "Let's take them down to Liberty Dam and kill them."

The two-car convoy drove west on Liberty Road but missed the turnoff to the dam and instead drove to Eldersburg.

There, they turned onto Hemlock Drive and pulled around the back of a state police substation. Two state police officers were sitting in their cruisers outside the station; Washington saw them and jumped out of the moving truck.

The driver of the truck tried to run Washington down, but missed him and hit the Taurus, Novak said. While Washington began telling the officers what had happened, the driver of the truck abandoned it and got into the Taurus with Yoder and Faulkner, police said. The Taurus pulled away, pursued by the two state police cruisers.

High-speed chase

The Taurus, with Yoder and her two captors in it, drove east on Liberty Road. and Yoder told Baltimore County officers that she could see the car's speedometer registering more than 100 miles an hour.

At Glen Michael Lane and Liberty Road, the Taurus hit a stopped car but did not cause any injuries, and skidded through a fence. The car's tires blew, Novak said, and the car came to a halt.

The two unbound occupants jumped out and ran, Novak said, leaving Yoder in the car. One of the officers, Tfc. Gerard K. Ables of the Westminster barracks, had his police dog with him. The dog captured Smith, Novak said, and county and state police officers captured Faulkner.

Novak said police found Washington's wallet on Smith, as well as Yoder's computer equipment on the back seat of the Taurus.

Pub Date: 10/29/97

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