Carjacking suspect ordered held without bail

Judge orders psychiatric evaluation

July 15, 2011|By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun

A District Court judge in Rockville ordered a man held without bail Friday after police charged him with carjacking a woman and her 20-month-old son from a Baltimore gas station and leading state police on a high-speed chase that ended on the Capital Beltway.

The 22-year-old suspect, Terron Alvin White of West Baltimore, appeared on a video monitor in Montgomery County District Court. He is being held in a detention center, charged with 27 criminal counts that include kidnapping, assault and 18 traffic infractions.

During the five-minute hearing, Judge Gary Everngam ordered White undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Prosecutors said White faces additional charges in Baltimore City and in Prince George's County.

Police charging documents filed Friday offer some new details of Wednesday night's pursuit of the black Lexus that ended on the outer loop of the Capital Beltway near River Road when the driver slowed and the victim tumbled out of the car while holding her son.

Authorities said speeds at times exceeded 100 mph and that the victim had her arms out a window and was screaming for help as the car sped down the highway at 10:30 at night, swerving with its headlights turned off.

Trooper J. Batty of the Maryland State Police wrote in the charging documents that several times during the chase he saw the passenger door open, and it "appeared as if the passenger was attempting to jump from the vehicle."

When the 24-year-old woman finally did jump, clutching her toddler, Batty wrote that he saw them roll onto the pavement. "I swerved to avoid them," he said.

At Friday's court hearing, White tried to talk, asking, "Can I say something?" But his attorney from the public defender's office cut him off. The court charging documents say he gave a written apology to police after his arrest and told police he had been homeless for the past month. The documents offer no motive for the alleged abduction.

The victim, identified in court documents as Elsya Samuels, said on Thursday, "I thought, 'We're going to die either way.'" The victim recounted her harrowing ordeal, and her escape, from what police described as a random attack.

It started about 10 p.m. Wednesday at a Citgo gas station on Edmondson Avenue in West Baltimore's Rosemont community. The charging documents say White got into a dispute at the station just as Samuels pulled up to a gas pump, with her son, Julius, in the back seat.

When she went inside to pay, she saw White "running directly toward her," the documents allege. They say the man forced his way into her car, even as bystanders and the woman tried to fight him off. The man gained control of the car, police said. Samuels told authorities that White smashed out the driver's window and threatened her with broken glass if she didn't do as he said, according to the charging documents.

Police said the man sped off in the Lexus and eventually got on Interstate 95. State police began their pursuit about 10:30 p.m. after the Lexus sideswiped a marked cruiser parked at a construction site at the Intercounty Connector north of the Capital Beltway.

Trooper Batty was on a car stop on the Beltway when he heard frantic calls of his colleagues over the police radio. He said in the court documents that he then positioned his cruiser on the side of the Beltway in Silver Spring.

About 10:45 p.m., Batty said, the Lexus sped by him, and he joined the chase. Near Bradley Boulevard, Batty said, he pulled next to the Lexus. "When I did, a woman in the front passenger seat looked at me, waved her hands out of the window and screamed 'help!' numerous times," according to the charging documents.

The pursuit went through Silver Spring and into Rockville.

The Lexus had to slow to 10 to 20 mph near River Road, according to police, and Samuels was able to jump out of the moving car. Police then boxed in the Lexus, forcing it to stop, and arrested the suspect.

Police said White had no identification. Batty concluded his report: "White was not wearing his seatbelt."

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