Officer shoots at driver who hit police cars during chase in city

Theft task force pursues vehicle with stolen tags

June 04, 1999|By Dail Willis | Dail Willis,SUN STAFF

A car chase escalated into violence yesterday on North Avenue when a county police officer fired several shots at a driver who had rammed police vehicles moments earlier, police said.

The man drove away from the scene, said Agent Angelique Cook-Hayes, a city police spokeswoman, and police officers found the empty car a few minutes later in the 2400 block of Winchester St. with blood inside and bullet holes in the front.

The incident began about 1: 40 p.m. when officers assigned to the Regional Auto Theft task force, a city-county enforcement effort, saw a white, four-door Honda Accord with stolen tags traveling east on North Avenue, Cook-Hayes said.

Several unmarked police cars followed the car, boxing it in near North and Park avenues, she said.

"The driver of the Honda began to ram two unmarked vehicles," Cook-Hayes said.

The two officers jumped out of their cars, but the impact of the ramming knocked Officer James Frauenhoffer, 35 and a six-year veteran of the Baltimore Police Department assigned to the Eastern District, to the ground. Baltimore County Officer Christopher T. McDonold fired several shots at the car as it was driven away, police said.

A bag containing a pound of marijuana was turned over to police officers by a citizen who said he had seen the driver of the white Honda toss it out of the car window, Cook-Hayes said. No gun or other drugs were found in the car, she said.

McDonold, who joined the county police in 1988, remained on active duty yesterday, said county police spokesman Bill Toohey. The 32-year-old officer, who won the Police Foundation crime-prevention award this year, was not injured, police said. Frauenhoffer was treated at Mercy Medical Center for minor injuries, Cook-Hayes said.

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