Man injured during escape from hijackers

February 04, 2000|By Nancy A. Youssef | Nancy A. Youssef,SUN STAFF

Baltimore County police are searching for two men they say hijacked a delivery truck at gunpoint in Owings Mills yesterday.

The incident began about 11 a.m. at Owings Mills mall, police said. Bruce Haigler, 43, of Capitol Heights in Prince George's County, had completed a delivery and was standing at a loading dock when a man with a gun approached him, demanded the keys to the truck and forced him into the back of the vehicle, police said.

The gunman shut the truck's rear sliding door, but "for some unknown reason, the door did not lock," said Cpl. Vickie Warehime, a county police spokeswoman.

The driver headed south on Interstate 795, then got onto the exit ramp for the outer loop of the Baltimore Beltway. Haigler opened the sliding door, leaned around both sides of the vehicle and saw a driver and passenger.

Haigler told police he jumped out of the truck while it was traveling about 40 mph, landing on the side of the I-795 ramp where it joins the outer loop. He was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center. A spokeswoman said Haigler was in serious but stable condition last night.

Police said the men apparently decided to abandon the truck when they saw a Maryland state trooper stopped on the Beltway.

"What we believe is that the suspects saw a Maryland state trooper with his overhead lights on on an unrelated traffic stop," Warehime said. "We believe they panicked, thinking that the trooper was there for them."

Police found the truck parked on the side of the Beltway, near the end of the I-795 exit ramp. The men ran up an embankment and jumped over a fence, police said.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Baltimore County police at 410-887-2198.

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