Judge raises bond for bank robbery suspect

November 14, 1996



Staff Writer

A Washington County District judge on Thursday raised bond to $125,000 for a bank robbery suspect who led police on a high-speed chase through Hagerstown's North End.

Michael Shawn Clark, 31, of 141 King St., Hagerstown, appeared before Washington County District Court Judge Ralph France for a review of the $75,000 bond set Wednesday following the robbery of a Hagerstown Trust Company branch.

"The state believes $75,000 is too low in this case,'' said Assistant State's Attorney Joe Michael.

In asking for the higher bond, Michael cited the danger to police officers and the public during the chase.

Clark is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Dec. 4 at 8:30 a.m. He spoke only when he asked for a public defender to represent him at that hearing.


Clark has been charged with armed robbery, robbery, felony theft, first-degree assault, use of a handgun in commission of a felony, transporting a handgun, reckless endangerment and a number of traffic violations, including speeding, according to court documents.

The incident began with a 10:55 a.m. robbery at the Hagerstown Trust Co. branch at 19922 Jefferson Boulevard, said Maryland State Police Trooper 1st Class Michael Potter, who is heading up the investigation.

After getting money from the tellers, the armed man fled through a rear door, Potter said.

Two women from the bank were able to give police his description and that of the car he was driving, Potter said.

The ensuing chase reached speeds of up to 85 mph in a 40 mph zone on Eastern Boulevard and through the North End, according to court documents.

At the end of the chase, in an alley off North Mulberry Street, Deputy 1st Class Paul Boyer stopped about five or six feet away from the car in an attempt to pin it against the fence next to the Hagerstown Fairgrounds.

The driver backed up his car three times, striking Boyer's cruiser in an attempt to get away, according to Sgt. Mark Knight.

Five years ago, Clark was indicted for bank larceny in the January 1991 robbery of the First National Bank branch at Valley Mall. The charges later were dropped, according to police reports.

Michael said Thursday Clark has no other criminal history.

The Herald-Mail Articles