Crime Watch

CRIME WATCH

November 01, 2008

Driver leads police on chase through Annapolis

A driver led police on a chase through Annapolis early yesterday and attempted to hit an officer with his car, ran a motorist off the road and struck a police car twice, Annapolis police said. About 12:40 a.m., an officer signaled for a man driving a 1999 Ford Crown Victoria on West Street in downtown Annapolis to pull over because he was speeding, police said. As the officer walked to the car, the man drove off. Officers followed the Ford in police cars and the driver stopped again in the parking lot of a senior center on Smithville Street. As officers walked to the car, the driver swerved toward one of the officers, who jumped and narrowly avoided being struck, police said. The man then drove out of the parking lot, and police followed. The Ford struck a Maryland State Police cruiser twice, causing it to fly into the air and land in a ditch, police said. The driver of the Ford finally pulled into the driveway of his home in the 3000 block of Riva Road. He struggled with officers who acted to remove him from the car, but was eventually taken into custody, police said. Justin Michael Sellman, 21, was charged with first-degree assault, numerous traffic violations and related offenses, police said. He appeared to be under the influence of PCP at the time of his arrest, police said.

Julie Scharper

Cabdriver wins suit against transit officers

A cabdriver has been awarded $305,000 after winning a civil rights lawsuit against two Maryland Transportation Authority police officers over a 2005 incident at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. A Baltimore Circuit Court jury found that officers Jeffrey Sheriff and James Meyers violated the rights of taxi driver Dawit Seyoum by falsely arresting him, using excessive force, covering up Seyoum's injuries and giving false testimony against the man, according to plaintiff's lawyer, Cary J. Hansel. Seyoum was acquitted of criminal charges in Anne Arundel County District Court. Hansel said the incident began when Seyoum sought the officers' help after his cab was blocked in by a bus. Cpl. Jonathan Green, a spokesman for the authority police, said the two officers remain on the force. He said he could not comment further because of personnel rules.

Michael Dresser

Aberdeen car fire investigated as arson

The Maryland fire marshal's office is investigating a blaze that started in the passenger compartment of a car early yesterday on Creswell Road in Aberdeen, authorities said. Firefighters were called to the scene about 4:30 a.m. at the dead end of Creswell Road for a fire in a 2004 Kia Optima. Damage was estimated at $6,100, according to a report from the fire marshal's Bel Air office. Investigators said the arson was the cause of the fire. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the fire marshal at 410-836-4844.

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