Armed pickup driver being held by police

caused traffic detours

November 21, 2001|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

An armed pickup truck driver who held off police and caused traffic detours between Hampstead and Westminster for about five hours yesterday remained in police custody last night, authorities said.

The incident began about 5:30 a.m. in western Baltimore County, when a woman called the police to report her ex-husband was outside her home in the 400 block of Valley Meadow Circle near Glyndon, said county police spokesman Bill Toohey. The woman said the man was known to have a gun, he said.

A county officer followed the 1995 dark blue Ford truck and reported that the driver appeared to have a gun held against his head, Toohey said.

Police pursued the truck at speeds between 30 and 50 mph - stopping once for a railroad crossing - up Route 30 and into Carroll County and Hampstead.

There, a town police unit joined Carroll County sheriff's deputies and Maryland State Police troopers from Westminster, said Lt. Terry L. Katz, the barracks commander, who was at the scene of the standoff.

The man drove down Route 27 (Manchester Road) to Lucabaugh Mill Road to Old Manchester Road and onto Route 482 (Hampstead-Mexico Road), where police used stop sticks to flatten the vehicle's tires about 6 a.m.

The driver had a handgun and would not come out of the truck, so negotiations began, Katz said.

A state police helicopter, a special-weapons team and the fortified Peacekeeper vehicle were brought to the scene on Route 482, about three-quarters of a mile from Leisters Church Road toward Gablehammer Road, an area of few homes.

As negotiators used a public-address system, the police and State Highway Administration workers blocked traffic on Route 482, between Leisters Church and Gorsuch roads, from about 6 a.m. until the standoff ended soon after 11 a.m. No shots were fired, police said.

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