Troopers wound suspect in chase around Bel Air

Pa. man, 18, charged with assault, driving under the influence

October 21, 2001|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF

A Pennsylvania man suspected of drunken driving led state police on a 20-mile chase around Bel Air yesterday morning and didn't slow down even after he was shot in the arm, authorities said.

The 30-minute pursuit, which reached speeds of 90 mph, ended after troopers flattened the tires on the Lexus the man was driving, police said.

Troy B. Nunemaker, 18, of Gettysburg was treated for a gunshot wound to his arm and was released from Maryland Shock Trauma Center. He was charged with several counts of first- and second-degree assault, driving under the influence, eluding police and numerous traffic violations.

At about 3:30 a.m., troopers spotted a 1995 Lexus ES300 being driven erratically north on Interstate 95 south of Route 24. After the car exited onto Route 24, troopers turned on their lights and sirens, but the driver sped away, according to police reports.

The pursuit continued north on Route 924 though Constant Friendship and Laurel Valley, police said. Troopers threw stop sticks onto Tollgate Road near Singer Road.

When it appeared the car was stopping, Trooper Charles R. Wheeley got out of his car and approached the Lexus, which then drove toward the officer, police said. Wheeley fired at the driver with his department-issued .40-caliber Beretta, police said.

The driver continued on Tollgate Road toward Route 24, where Trooper Jack R. Harmel positioned his car across a five-lane portion of the road. The driver sped toward the trooper, who also shot at him, police said.

By then, a half-dozen troopers and Harford County sheriff's deputies had joined the chase, which continued west on Route 24 and through side streets in the Laurel Woods neighborhood, where troopers again threw stop sticks onto the road.

The car stopped near Singer Road, where Harmel ordered the suspect to surrender. But police said the car again accelerated toward a trooper, who again fired at the suspect.

The Lexus rammed a marked patrol car before going west on Singer Road toward Abingdon Elementary School, where it could go no farther because of two flat tires.

No state troopers were injured and there was minimal damage to the patrol car Nunemaker ran into, Frank said.

The state police special investigative support unit and the internal affairs unit were reviewing the shootings and chase late yesterday.

Harmel, 29, with three years on the force, and Wheeley, 28, with four years on the force, have been placed on routine administrative leave, Frank said.

Authorities said Nunemaker is wanted on a Adams County, Pa., warrant for violating probation on a drug conviction.

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