State trooper sustains minor injuries after being hit by car

Driver charged with assault

November 24, 2011|The Baltimore Sun

A Maryland State Trooper is recovering at home Thursday after being struck by a car while attempting to make a traffic stop, state police said.

Trooper First Class Justin Updegraff was investigating a collision on Interstate 695 near Route 702 around 8 a.m. Wednesday, when he attempted to stop another vehicle, police said. Because the traffic in the area was stop-and-go, Updegraff attempted to pull the vehicle over by stepping in front of it.

The driver of the vehicle, identified as Mason F. Smith, 19, of Dundalk, changed lanes, according to a police statement, and Updegraff stepped into that lane. Police said Smith stopped the vehicle, revved his engine, and sped away, striking the trooper.

A Baltimore County Police officer who was also on the scene briefly chased Smith before he surrendered and was taken into custody, state police said.

Smith has been charged with first- and second-degree assault on a law enforcement officer, intentionally causing injury to a law enforcement officer and failure to obey a lawful order, police said. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and held on $50,000 bond.

The original reason for the traffic stop was that Smith was driving with green headlights, apparently violating a traffic code barring "glaring or dazzling light," said Corporal Argenbright of the State Police Golden Ring Barracks. Argenbright would not give his first name. He said Smith has been cited for the lighting issue as well.

The police statement described Updegraff's injuries as "minor."

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