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Trial ordered for man shot by police

December 04, 1996

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

Charges against a Waynesboro, Pa., man who was shot in the leg while allegedly trying to run down a police officer with his vehicle Nov. 10 will be tried in Washington County Circuit Court.

Richard A. Sheffler was ordered held on $200,000 bond by Washington County District Court Judge Ralph France who Tuesday found probable cause to uphold the charges during a preliminary hearing.

Sheffler, 29, displayed no signs of his injury at the court appearance Tuesday. He showed up on crutches Nov. 14 for a bond review, after spending four days in Washington County Hospital under guard.

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Sheffler has been charged with first- and second-degree assault on a police officer, fleeing and eluding, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and multiple counts of speeding, police said.

The chase began on Md. 60, when Trooper First Class R.R. Coccodrilli clocked Sheffler driving 70 mph in a 50 mph zone, police said.

Reaching speeds of 100 mph, the chase continued into Pennsylvania on Pa. 16, where Maryland police were joined by a Washington Township,Pa., police car, police said.

Near Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., Sheffler's car hit the township cruiser before heading back into Maryland, police said.

Township police had told officers in the chase that Sheffler was known to carry a gun, although no gun was found on him when he was apprehended.

Smithsburg Police Chief Thomas Bowers had just joined the pursuit of Sheffler on Md. 491 when Sheffler's car spun on the wet road and stopped - with its lights off, according to Maryland State Police Trooper First Class Michael Potter.

As Bowers walked toward the front of Sheffler's car, the lights suddenly came on and the car began to move, Potter said.

Approaching from behind were Coccodrilli and a Washington Township officer, Potter said.

Sheffler allegedly put his car in reverse and rammed the township cruiser, then drove forward heading straight for Bowers, Potter said.

"The car came within feet of Bowers, who fell down when he tried to stop,'' Potter said.

Bowers fired two or three shots at the front of the car, rolled out of the way and fired five or six more shots at the side of the car, Potter said. He wasn't hit by the car or hurt in the fall.

A total of 17 rounds were fired. Coccodrilli began to shoot when he saw Bowers go down, Potter said.

Wounded in the lower right leg by one of Bowers' rounds, Sheffler drove about a mile before he saw another Maryland trooper blocking the road, Potter said.

Sheffler then stopped and surrendered.

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