Possible drug residue found in stolen truck

Judge revokes bail for suspect in police chase

August 07, 2004|By Sarah Schaffer | Sarah Schaffer,SUN STAFF

Authorities revealed yesterday that they found a suspected crack cocaine pipe in the cab of a tractor-trailer driven by a man who led police on a 40-minute chase through the Baltimore area Thursday, ramming vehicles and injuring a state trooper, according to court records.

The man, Cokie Joseph Gopshes, 32, of Baltimore, was ordered held without bail yesterday by an Anne Arundel County judge.

He was charged yesterday with 19 criminal offenses including attempted second-degree murder, several counts of first- and second-degree assault, felony theft, and possession of a controlled dangerous substance.

Police also said he was driving on a suspended Maryland driver's license.

Appearing via video link from the county jail, a disheveled Gopshes looked down and said little as District Judge James W. Dryden read the charges aloud and then revoked the $5 million bail set by a court commissioner early yesterday morning.

"No bail?" Gopshes responded.

"No bail," Dryden said.

Thursday's chase, which at times reached speeds topping 70 mph, began after an Anne Arundel County police detective saw the stolen truck being driven in the 800 block of Ordnance Road, near the Baltimore line, police said.

Path of the chase

The detective followed the truck into Baltimore, then notified city police, who tried to stop the truck at Patapsco Avenue and 10th Street in Brooklyn.

But the truck didn't stop, and a Baltimore police officer had to run from its path as it barreled past her.

The driver led a caravan of cruisers in pursuit through the city and onto Baltimore-Washington Parkway; Interstates 695, 95 and 195; U.S. 1; and then back onto the parkway.

On the parkway, the truck twice struck a state police car and then sideswiped a black BMW and a tractor-trailer before ramming the same police cruiser from behind, injuring Cpl. Mark Bailey.

Bailey was treated and released late Thursday night from Maryland Shock Trauma Center. No one else was injured.

The chase ended when the driver took the employees-only exit for the heavily guarded National Security Agency at Fort Meade, stopping near the gates.

A state police spokesman said NSA officers were prepared to "take whatever action it took to stop the truck, given the code orange [terrorism] alert."

Police also said Gopshes refused to be handcuffed after officers removed him from the truck.

The incident involved more than 20 marked and unmarked police cars from various jurisdictions and a police helicopter.

Drug conviction

According to police and court documents, the pipe containing suspected crack cocaine residue was found in the cab of the stolen truck.

Sgt. Thornnie Rouse, a state police spokesman, declined to say yesterday whether the suspect appeared to be under the influence of drugs at the time of the chase.

Court records show that Gopshes was convicted in 2000 of possession of narcotics in Baltimore.

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