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Motorist's tip lead to arrest of New York man following chase

April 11, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

A tip from a motorist blocked in traffic while police chased a man with a handgun on North Potomac Street led to an arrest Thursday evening, said Hagerstown Police Department Sgt. Mark Holtzman.

"Give the credit to the citizen," he said.

Holtzman said a couple of cars had to be stopped on the corner of Church and North Potomac streets at around 5:30 p.m. while undercover police tried to catch a man they had been chasing on foot.

Hagerstown Police Chief Arthur Smith said the Street Crimes Unit started the pursuit in the 200 block of North Potomac Street, but then many department members arrived at the scene.

Police had been in the area staking out a residence when a man took off, Sgt. Curt Wood said.

Police alleged that the man dropped an automatic handgun in the alley behind Sam Tooma & Son, an Oriental rug store at 140 N. Potomac St.

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Holtzman said a motorist who was stopped in the police blockade rolled down her window and motioned to him.

"When I arrived she told me she saw a black man running across the street holding a jacket and wearing a white T-shirt," he said.

Holtzman found the suspect lying in the weeds by the alley at the side of the former YMCA building, now Shiloh Ministries, at 149 N. Potomac St. in Hagerstown.

"We got the gun and we got the guy," Smith said.

Wood said the man was later identified as Andre Turner, 24, who gave an address on Pine Street in Hagerstown, which turned out to be nonexistent. He was found to be from New York, Wood said.

Charges against Turner include possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia, Wood said. Turner was awaiting an appearance before a bond commissioner Thursday night.

The investigation into the weapon possession was continuing, Wood said.

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