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Judge raises bond for man charged with carjacking

October 22, 2002|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

A Washington County District Court judge raised the bond Monday for a Hagerstown man charged with carjacking after he allegedly impersonated a police officer near an ice cream store Saturday.

Judge Noel Spence raised the bond for Daniel Nicholas Smith, 25, from $100,000 to $125,000 at the conclusion of the bond hearing.

Smith, of 416 Guilford Ave., remains in the Washington County Detention Center in lieu of bond.

Smith is charged with carjacking, robbery, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, second-degree assault, impersonation of a police officer, rogue and vagabond and driving on a revoked driver's license, Hagerstown City Police said.

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During the bond review, Smith answered Spence's questions via video conference from the detention center. Smith sat at a table wearing a checkered shirt and told Spence his crimes are the result of a serious drinking problem and he plans to look into treatment.

"I suggest you do more than take a look at it," Spence said.

According to charging documents, Smith allegedly forced Roberta Lee Ecker, 51, from her 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier about 7:45 p.m. Saturday outside Superior Ice Cream and Snack Bar on Chestnut Street.

Ecker and her mother, Beatrice June Shank, 73, left Superior after buying ice cream there and got into the car, according to police documents.

Ecker said a man wearing a brown and cream flannel jacket and jeans approached her car window and said he was an undercover police officer, according to charging documents.

Smith allegedly asked Ecker for her license and registration because he said the handicapped registration on her car was wrong, police said. Ecker hesitantly gave him the information, police said.

Smith allegedly asked Ecker to step out of the car so he could show her the registration sticker was on the wrong side of the plate. Ecker complied, but after being shown her plate, she allegedly advised Smith she had had the registration for 15 years, police said.

Ecker told police she smelled alcohol on Smith's breath and then told Smith she did not believe he was a police officer, police said. Ecker told police she tried to get back into the car, but said Smith allegedly pushed her against the side of the car. After a struggle, she said she got into the car but said Smith began pulling her out, police said.

Shank got out of the car on the passenger side, police said.

Smith got into the driver's seat and Ecker said she tried to hold on to him, police said. Smith allegedly drove off, dragging Ecker a short distance before she fell to the ground, police said.

Smith allegedly drove away but was stopped shortly thereafter by Hagerstown City Police in the 400 block of Salem Avenue, police said.

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