2-interstate police chase ends in shooting Stolen-car driver wounded after failing to stop for cars, choppers on I-83, I-695

September 17, 1998|By Dail Willis | Dail Willis,SUN STAFF

One man was shot by police yesterday after a wide-ranging pursuit left a trail of mayhem on two interstate highways and several county roads.

The wounded man, whose identity was not released yesterday, was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, police said, and last night was in stable condition.

The chase began about 1: 30 p.m. yesterday when a Baltimore County detective driving an unmarked car on Interstate 695 near Greenspring Avenue saw an Isuzu Trooper with no front tag and a missing spare tire, said police spokesman Bill Toohey. The officer ran a check on the vehicle's tags and discovered the sport utility vehicle was listed as stolen, Toohey said.

After the detective tried unsuccessfully to pull the vehicle over, the Isuzu, pursued by the detective and several other Baltimore County police cars, headed onto Interstate 83 northbound, got off at Timonium Road and turned onto Greenside Drive.

After hitting one police car, the Isuzu got on and off the interstate several times, by this time also pursued by a state police helicopter, a county police helicopter, and several state police and county cars.

The Isuzu finally took I-83 south to 695 West, exiting at Liberty Road. The Isuzu turned down Croydon Road and hit a supporting wire for a utility pole and then a police car.

"At this point, a county officer and a state trooper got out of their cars with guns drawn," Toohey said, identifying the county officer as William J. Ruth, an 18-year veteran assigned to the Cockeysville precinct.

Maryland State Police spokesman Pete Piringer identified the trooper as Twanyetta N. Gruber, a five-year veteran. As police boxed in the Isuzu, county police said, the driver continued to ram their patrol cars, some of which were occupied, in an attempt to flee. Under these circumstances, said a county police officer, the Isuzu was a deadly weapon and the officers had a right to defend themselves.

Two shots were fired into the Isuzu, hitting the driver in the neck and shoulder.

Toohey said a preliminary investigation showed that the bullets that struck the driver of the Isuzu were fired by Ruth.

A passenger in the car was not hurt, but was being questioned by police last night, Toohey said.

The pursuit also contributed to a state police cruiser flipping over on the Beltway and forced authorities to close the outer loop of the Beltway for more than an hour yesterday afternoon, said Piringer.

Trooper Bruce Tucker, riding along the Beltway near Interstate 795 with a student from Coppin State College in his car as an observer, heard on the radio that shots had been fired, Piringer said.

Tucker put on his lights and siren and began driving toward Croydon Road. An unidentified motorist cut him off, and when Tucker swerved, the state police cruiser overturned, Piringer said. Neither Tucker nor the student were injured.

Pub Date: 9/17/98

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