Officer fires at burglary suspect during chase

March 23, 2001|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore police officer shot at a burglary suspect yesterday after a car pursuit that ended with a crash on railroad tracks in Westport, a department spokesman said.

The man being chased was not hit by the shot fired by Southern District Officer Richard S. Boblitz, but was caught and arrested by other officers.

Police officials said Boblitz fired his 9 mm Glock when the suspect refused repeated demands to take his hands out of his pockets.

It was the second such incident this week. Dwayne Burke, 36, of Randallstown was killed by an officer in Northwest Baltimore on Monday after refusing to take his hands out of his pockets and gesturing as if he had a weapon, police said.

Yesterday's incident began shortly before 2 p.m. when Anne Arundel County officers flagged down city officers in the 1100 block of Nanticoke St. They pointed out a purple Geo Tracker with a male driver and female passenger, saying the man was wanted on a burglary warrant, police said.

Officers stopped the Tracker - which was later found to be stolen - at Nanticoke and West Cross streets, said Agent Martin Bartness, a city police spokesman. The driver sped off as officers got out of their cruiser, he said.

Police chased the vehicle about a half-mile before the man drove off the 2000 block of Annapolis Road and maneuvered onto railroad tracks. The car traveled a short distance before the driver lost control and the car flipped onto its roof, Bartness said.

A woman got out of the vehicle and was arrested. The man ran along the tracks, chased by Boblitz, Bartness said.

At one point, the man turned toward Boblitz, the spokesman said. The officer could be heard over the police radio screaming, "Get your hands out of your pockets," then telling a dispatcher, "Shots fired."

The officer fired once, then resumed the chase. The man was arrested by other officers a short distance away, Bartness said.

Blaine James Curtin, 37, of no fixed address was charged yesterday with auto theft, theft, fleeing and eluding police. Bartness said.

The woman, Mary Miller, 32, of the first block of Colonial Drive in Linthicum, was charged with auto theft, he said.

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