Man caught after hospital escape

Car theft suspect eluded police for five hours after taking trooper's gun

November 14, 2007|By Gus G. Sentementes | Gus G. Sentementes,Sun reporter

A suspect in a car theft ring with links to Harford County overpowered a state trooper while undergoing tests at a Laurel hospital, took her gun and shot at her, eluding police for five hours yesterday before he was recaptured, authorities said.

The manhunt near Interstate 95 in Prince George's County for the armed, barefoot suspect wearing a hospital gown forced schools to shut down and had police setting up roadblocks and searching vehicles. The man was found hiding in a shed near Contee Road and U.S. 1 and was arrested after an officer shot him with a Taser gun.

Gregory M. Shipley, a spokesman for the Maryland State Police, said the suspect had been taken from the College Park barracks to the hospital after he complained of chest pains. He struggled with the trooper in a fourth-floor room, Shipley said, wrest the trooper's gun from her and fled, Shipley said.

The trooper chased the man down four flights of stairs and out of the building, where, Shipley said, the man turned and pointed the gun at the trooper. He yelled, "I'm going to kill you!" and fired several times, Shipley said.

Officers from several agencies swarmed the area, using a helicopter and dogs to search the area dotted by low office buildings, labyrinthine developments of homes and woods. He was found about 8:40 a.m. in a sales trailer at the Laurel Lakes housing community, police said.

Shipley identified the suspect as Kamara Mohamed, 39, of Prince George's County. He was charged with car theft and faces numerous other charges related to the escape, Shipley said.

Events began Sunday morning in Harford County when state police in Bel Air were called to Bob Bell Chevrolet for a report of a burglary and theft of a 2005 Monte Carlo from a used car lot. By Sunday night, investigators had arrested two suspects and reported finding the stolen vehicle near Fallston. Charges are pending against the two other suspects.

Shipley said the investigation led police to a storage facility in the 3200 block of Kenilworth Drive in Hyattsville, where they set up surveillance and on Monday arrested Mohamed when he made a visit. Police said they found a stolen 2005 Nissan Armada, a 2008 Nissan Pathfinder, two 2008 Toyota Highlanders, a 2008 Jaguar X-Type and a late-model Toyota RAV4 at the storage facility.

"We believe that Mohamed was one of the top-level individuals in this organization," Shipley said. State police investigators were working with the FBI and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

The escape and subsequent search unnerved people who live and work near the hospital. At Angelic Family Childcare on Straughn Drive, three miles from Laurel Regional Hospital, Robyn Moody said before the suspect's capture that she had told the eight children in her care that they would not be allowed to play outside today.

"I'm very close in proximity to that hospital," she said, echoing the concern of two parents who called her yesterday morning before bringing their children over to ask what precautions she would be taking.

gus.sentementes@baltsun.com

Sun reporter Nick Madigan contributed to this article.

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See a related video at baltimoresun.com/escape

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