Teen pleads guilty to eluding police

November 06, 1997


Staff Writer

A 16-year-old Tacoma, Wash., boy pleaded guilty Wednesday to fleeing and eluding a police officer whose cruiser ended up immersed in water in the C&O Canal in Williamsport on Oct. 4.

In returning the teen to Noyes Juvenile Detention Center in Rockville, Md., Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell ordered a psychiatric/medical evaluation.

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Gina Cirincion said Hagerstown City Police Officer Tim Rossiter had gotten a complaint from the teen's mother that the boy, then 15, had taken her car without permission and without a driver's license.


Rossiter spotted the car in Hagerstown at 2:47 a.m. and watched it run a red light and travel in the wrong lane. He and another officer pursued the car through Hagerstown and into Williamsport at a high rate of speed, Cirincion said.

At the end of Potomac Street in Williamsport, the teen ran the car off the road and kicked up a lot of gravel, Cirincion said.

"Officer Rossiter came along and was unable to stop. His cruiser went into the canal," she said.

Rossiter was treated at Washington County Hospital for minor injuries.

Defense attorney Michael Morrissette said his client agreed with the statement except that he denied trying to hit the police cars.

Cirincion said the state will seek restitution in excess of $4,000 for the cruiser, which was destroyed.

She said the teen's mother wrote a letter expressing a desire to have her son placed in a Mississippi church school.

Morrissette said the boy has a mass, or tumor, in his head that raises concerns for his current health. "He needs a proper medical exam to find out if there is a medical problem here," he said.

Pastor David Kaplan of St. Mark's Lutheran Church said he had spoken with the boy's mother, who told him her son was troubled by his father's suicide.

"He needs help,'' Kaplan said.

McDowell agreed and ordered the medical/psychological testing.

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