Fleeing from police, driver hits, kills pedestrian

Motorist is shot in foot during scuffle with officer

February 16, 2005|By Ryan Davis | Ryan Davis,SUN STAFF

A driver fleeing from police in West Baltimore yesterday afternoon hit and killed a pedestrian before crashing a Toyota Camry, scuffling with an officer and being shot in the left foot, police said.

The 28-year-old driver, whose name was not released, was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was being treated last night for injuries. No charges had been filed last night, city police said.

An officer, whom police also did not identify, spotted the man in the white Camry about 3:30 p.m. near Lexington and Bentalou streets. The officer, suspecting the driver might be trolling for drugs, turned on his overhead lights and siren, said Agent Donny Moses, a police spokesman. The driver sped away. Police said it was not a stolen car.

"The officer actually lost sight of him," Moses said.

The driver barreled east - the wrong way - on one-way Frederick Avenue, Moses said.

At the same time, Steven Cage, 46, of the 700 block Devonshire Road in Southwest Baltimore, was crossing Baltimore Street from north to south, just east of Gilmor Street.

As he approached the curb, the Camry raced through the intersection, hitting Cage with enough force to knock him out of his sneakers, said Moses.

The Camry sped another three blocks east on Baltimore Street, and the driver lost control as he tried to turn north on Carey Street. The car slammed into a short brick column on the porch of a boarded-up building.

"It was like thunder, `Boom,'" said Donald Cornelious, a witness.

The driver ditched the car and fled one block east through back yards to a trash-littered area on the east side of Carrollton Avenue, Moses said. The officer who initially spotted the driver caught up with him and drew his gun. That's when the suspect attacked, Moses said.

"At some point in that altercation, the weapon discharged," Moses said.

Baltimore police have a policy that prevents them from conducting car chases of suspects under most circumstances, and Moses said that it appeared officers followed the policy.

The officer who turned on his light lost sight of the Camry almost instantly, Moses said. A police helicopter spotted the fleeing vehicle.

Cornelious, the witness, said he saw at least two police cars pursuing at high speeds about 1 1/2 blocks behind the car.

"We're allowed to follow and keep them in sight," Moses said, adding that officers are not typically allowed to be so close as to prompt a suspect to drive faster.

The incident was under investigation last night.

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