Man held without bail after Annapolis chase

Charges include attempted murder

March 14, 2002|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

An Eastern Shore man accused of leading police on a chase that included gunfire near the State House remained jailed without bail yesterday after being charged with attempting to murder two state troopers, court records show.

Todd Kenneth Woody, 32, was charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder, according to court records, which say he tried to run over a trooper in the Eastport neighborhood of Annapolis. Later, he tried to run over another trooper in downtown Annapolis and rammed the trooper's police cruiser when the chase shifted to Glen Burnie, according to court records.

Police said Woody, driving a seafood truck that had been taken without permission from his employer, rammed a state police cruiser Tuesday in Eastport, starting a 20-minute police chase that ended in Glen Burnie. He is also charged with four counts of first-degree assault and a count of second-degree assault.

Woody - who has a history of drug use, according to court records - waived a bail review hearing that had been scheduled yesterday in District Court in Annapolis. Woody told state police that he used crack cocaine before the chase.

Two troopers fired six shots during the pursuit, police said. The troopers were reassigned to administrative duty while a state police internal affairs unit reviewed the case.

A police spokesman and the charging document gave this account:

On Tuesday morning, Woody failed to report for work at Bay's Best Seafood in Grasonville after making deliveries Monday night.

His employer told police his truck was missing and that his driver sometimes visits Eastport. The truck was also seen on Eastport Avenue, according to an anonymous phone call made to Woody's employer.

Later, police spotted the truck behind the Eastport Plaza Shopping Center.

When approached by troopers, the truck's driver rammed a police cruiser and then headed toward Annapolis' historic district, aiming at troopers who tried to force the truck to stop near the governor's mansion. There, a trooper fired at the truck. Lobbyists and office workers ducked for cover, and a bullet struck the front door of the Lowe House Office Building.

The chase ended in Glen Burnie, after a trooper rammed the truck and captured the suspect as he tried to run away.

Five troopers were treated for injuries at area hospitals and released.

Court records indicate that Woody has a drug abuse problem.

Most recently, charges against him for possession of cocaine, marijuana and burglary tools were placed on an inactive docket in January to allow him to "enter treatment," according to District Court records in Anne Arundel County.

His attorney in those cases, Patrick M. Smith, said that for several years and with "very strong family support" Woody has tried to rein in a drug problem.

Records show Woody was convicted of criminal charges in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court and Washington state.

After pleading guilty in 1994 in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court to breaking and entering with the intent to commit a felony, nearly all of a five-year prison sentence was suspended on condition that he complete a residential drug rehabilitation program, records show. He went to Washington in 1994 to attend an alcohol and drug treatment program, according to court files.

He completed a 21-day inpatient program at Sundown M Ranch in Washington state, then lived with his parents but dropped out of the outpatient follow-up because he felt uncomfortable in the large group sessions, according to court documents. In 1996 he pleaded guilty to trafficking in stolen property there, records show.

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