Md. men charged after leading cops on 3-state chase

November 01, 2002

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Police in Pennsylvania chased a minivan south on Interstate 81 through the rain early Thursday, finally stopping the vehicle in Berkeley County when it slid into a patrol car.

The driver, William Edgar Barnhart III, 18, of 15419 National Pike, Hagerstown, was charged with fleeing, reckless endangerment and various traffic offenses, Greencastle Police said.

The pursuit began at about 12:50 a.m. Greencastle Police and Pennsylvania State Police went after the 1989 Plymouth minivan because of minor traffic violations, police said.

The minivan was going more than 80 mph in the rain, police said.

Maryland State Police set up "stop sticks" on southbound Interstate 81, north of I-70, to deflate the minivan's tires. However, the vehicle passed over them and kept going.


Maryland State Police joined in the chase.

About 10 miles later, the minivan took the Hedgesville exit off I-81. A Greencastle Police car tried to pass the minivan and was struck on the front bumper, police said.

Greencastle Police then tapped the rear bumper of the minivan, causing it to spin around and slide into the path of the Greencastle cruiser. The two vehicles' front fenders hit each other and the cars stopped near Rock Cliff Drive, police said.

Barnhart and his passenger were apprehended and handcuffed, police said.

Police recovered a large number of tools that were stolen from Pennsylvania, said Lt. Dennis Streets of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department, which assisted in the traffic stop.

Sgt. Mark Knight of the Washington County Sheriff's Department said some of a $35,000 cache of tools taken Sunday from a Litten Tool Sales truck parked at 13702 Maugansville Road near Hagerstown were also recovered.

Knight said other stolen tools taken recently from a Valentine Electric truck parked at 13531 Donnybrook Drive showed up in the minivan.

Barnhart and the passenger, Cody Gene Moser, 18, of 19608 Old Forge Road, Hagerstown, were both charged with bringing stolen property into the state of West Virginia, said Streets.

Both men were being held Thursday night at the Eastern Regional Jail. Barnhart's bond was $18,500 and Moser's was $15,000, jail officials said.

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