Wild chase sends 2 troopers to hospital

Several cars hit in run from College Park to Baltimore

November 22, 2009|By Larry Carson | larry.carson@baltsun.com

A man driving a red Mustang convertible near College Park sent two state troopers to Maryland Shock Trauma Center during a wild chase Saturday that also damaged two Prince George's County police cars and a civilian vehicle before ending at Baltimore's Fort McHenry Tunnel.

Speeds topped 100 mph, police said, and the driver repeatedly swerved toward police cars. At one point, he threw a pack of cigarettes from the top-down convertible at a pursuer.

Christopher E. Murphy, 30, of Horsham, Pa., was charged with multiple counts of attempted murder, assault on a law enforcement officer, destruction of property and numerous traffic offenses, police said. He was treated at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center for minor injuries and released into police custody.

The injured troopers, Michael O'Brien and Alphrin Norman, who were in separate vehicles, were treated and released at Shock Trauma, according to state police spokesman Greg Shipley. The two Prince George's officers were not hurt.

Ellen Sistare of Mitchellville, whose car was damaged during the chase, was taken to Prince George's Hospital Center, where she was treated and released.

Police at the College Park barracks got calls from motorists about 10:40 a.m. reporting a man driving erratically on the Capital Beltway. Trooper Jeff Deibel spotted the Mustang near Route 201; the driver was flashing his lights at a Prince George's County sheriff's vehicle ahead of him. The Mustang then swerved around the sheriff's car and was pursued by Deibel. The Mustang's driver threw a pack of cigarettes at Deibel's car as he swerved across several lanes and passed vehicles on the right shoulder. The chase wound onto Route 202, then back onto Interstate 495, eventually moving north.

Near Route 202, the Mustang braked and swerved to the right, hitting a state police car. The trooper hit a second police car, which smashed into Sistare's vehicle. The man then sped by, pumping his fist, police said. He headed north on Interstate 95 and went though the tunnel but hit spikes placed in the road near the toll plaza by Maryland Transportation Authority Police. He lost control of the car, hit two Prince George's County patrol cars and was arrested. He was taken to the College Park barracks after leaving the hospital and later to Prince George's County central booking. The Capital Beltway was closed for several hours at Route 202.

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