Man, 32, charged in theft of pickup at I-95 accident

Truck belonged to driver who stopped to help after 2 vehicles crashed, flipped

May 10, 2002|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF

A man accused of stealing a pickup truck to flee the scene of an accident on Interstate 95 in Howard County this week was arrested late Wednesday in Baltimore, state police said yesterday.

Gregory Augustus James Jr., 32, was charged yesterday on three counts relating to motor-vehicle theft and one count of drug possession, according to court records.

Acting on a tip, police found James about 11 p.m. at a residence in the 2500 block of Oswego Ave., said Cpl. William A. Lasner. Police found suspected heroin during the arrest, Lasner said.

Witnesses reported that James had been driving erratically Tuesday morning before the Isuzu Trooper he had borrowed from a friend crashed into a 1996 Oldsmobile, causing both cars to flip over a guardrail on northbound I-95 in Howard County, police said.

Cedric Posey stopped his vehicle to help the injured motorists, but while his attention was turned toward the crumpled Oldsmobile, James hopped into Posey's truck and sped away, police said.

Police found the truck, registered to Gaithersburg lawn-mowing company G.L. Cornell, around the corner from where they arrested James, Lasner said. It did not appear to have been damaged, he said.

The Oldsmobile's driver, 61-year-old Noreen Johnson of Silver Spring, was treated at Maryland Shock Trauma Center on Tuesday and released, a hospital spokeswoman said. Johnson's son, 26-year-old Jerome Johnson, also of Silver Spring, was in serious condition yesterday at Shock Trauma, the spokeswoman said.

Police said James had no obvious injuries from the accident when they arrested him Wednesday night, but witnesses reported seeing cuts on his face shortly after the crash.

James, whose latest address is in the 1000 block of Wooden Bridge Lane in Clinton, was a longtime Baltimore resident before his 1995 incarceration for a carjacking conviction, according to court records.

He was being held yesterday at the Howard County Detention Center in lieu of $30,000 bond and was scheduled for a bail review hearing at 10:30 a.m. today, a court commissioner said.

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