A veteran Maryland State Police Trooper assigned to the Bel Air Barrack was injured after he crashed his cruiser during a high speed chase in the Joppa area of Harford County early Friday morning, state police said.
The injuries sustained by Senior Trooper Jon Sawa were not life threatening.
According to a state police news release, during the early morning hours of Friday, Sawa initiated a traffic stop of a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt on southbound Route 152 (Mountain Road) near Stockton Road.
The Cobalt fled from the stop location and an approximately three-mile pursuit was initiated by Sawa. At some point, the news release said, the pursuit changed direction from southbound to northbound Route 152. During this phase of the pursuit, police said, it appears that the suspect vehicle rammed the unmarked patrol vehicle operated by Sawa on at least one occasion.
The pursuit continued from northbound Route 152 to northbound Old Joppa Road where Sawa's patrol vehicle hit a split rail wooden fence.
According to the news release issued shortly before 5 a.m. Friday, investigators are attempting to ascertain if Sawa's vehicle struck the wooden fence as a result of being forced off the roadway by the Chevrolet.
During the impact, a large portion of the wooden fence penetrated the driver side windshield of the patrol vehicle. The fence was deflected from Sawa's upper torso by either Sawa's hand or a dash mounted radar unit, according to the release.
Shortly after Sawa's crash, Harford County Sheriff's deputies, monitoring the pursuit radio transmission, observed the suspect vehicle on Atkinson Road in Joppa. Another short vehicle pursuit was initiated by deputies which resulted in the vehicle crashing on Singer Road east of Winters Run Road in Abingdon. The uninjured operator was then taken into custody.
The operator of the Chevrolet, identified as John Jacob Nussle 5th, 22, of Joppa, is facing criminal charges from the Maryland State Police ranging from first degree assault to malicious destruction of property, according to the news release. Nussle is also being the charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and several other traffic violations, according to state police.
Sawa sustained minor cuts and bruises as a result of the crash and was treated and released Friday morning from the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.
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