Driver trying to ram barricade is shot by Balto. County police Incident closes part of I-70 for four hours

November 14, 1998|By Melody Simmons | Melody Simmons,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore County police officer opened fire on a car yesterday as the driver tried to ram through a police barricade on Interstate 70, wounding the driver and closing for nearly four hours a section of the highway near the Social Security Administration.

Officer James Wickless, a four-year veteran assigned to the Woodlawn precinct, was placed on administrative suspension pending an investigation, said county police spokeswoman Cpl. Vickie Warehime.

The driver of the car, whose name had not been released by police last night, was in critical condition at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center. A passenger in the car, Marshall McNeill, 34, of the 500 block of Dolphin St., was charged with petty theft and obstruction of justice, and was being questioned by police last night.

No officers were injured in the incident.

Warehime said Wickless and two other police cruisers boxed the driver into a lane on the westbound I-70 connector between Interstate 695 and Security Boulevard about 10 a.m. while checking it for stolen license plates.

The driver attempted to ram through the police cars, Warehime said, and the officer fired into the car, hitting the driver in the upper torso.

"Once he got through, shots were fired," Warehime said. "But he still drove. He hit an embankment and lost control of the vehicle and ended up on the side of the road."

The section of I-70, which leads to a park-and-ride lot, was closed to westbound traffic as detectives investigated the incident. On Sept. 16, county police shot and injured a driver at Liberty and Croydon Roads in a traffic incident similar to yesterday's shooting, Warehime said.

All officers involved in the shooting yesterday are from the Woodlawn precinct.

Pub Date: 11/14/98

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