Standoff ends

April 14, 2003|by MARLO BARNHART

A Keedysville man was apprehended early Sunday in Fulton County, Pa., when he freed his ex-girlfriend unharmed after an armed standoff that began Saturday.

David William Trumpower, 51, had been holding a gun to the head of his former girlfriend under a tarp in a wooded area for nearly eight hours when the standoff ended around 1 a.m. Sunday, Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Steve Kagarice said.

Trumpower released the 47-year-old victim and surrendered peacefully, ending the tense episode, which began in Hancock around 5 p.m. Saturday, police in Pennsylvania said.


Trumpower had been released from a Maryland prison last summer after serving time for another hostage situation involving his ex-wife and a sawed-off shotgun more than five years ago.

Trumpower was being held Sunday on $200,000 bond in the Bedford County (Pa.) Prison on charges of kidnapping, aggravated assault, terroristic threats, unlawful restraint, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person, said Trooper Richard Cutchall at the McConnellsburg barrack.

Maryland State Police Trooper First Class Michael Kretzer said Maryland charges against Trumpower are armed carjacking, felony theft, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, kidnapping and five counts each of first- and second-degree assault, and reckless endangerment.

If Trumpower should make bond in the Pennsylvania charges, the Maryland charges would serve as a detainer, holding him without bond, Kretzer said.

Police said the standoff began Saturday when Trumpower allegedly forced a Warfordsburg, Pa., man to get out of a van, then drove with the woman to a logging road about 25 miles away in rural Fulton County.

Alerted to the carjacking, police in Maryland and Pennsylvania were tipped by residents that a blue Chevrolet van had been spotted in Ayr Township off Cito Road in Fulton County.

Troopers and helicopters from both Maryland and Pennsylvania zeroed in on the location. Efforts to establish a dialogue with the man were unsuccessful, police in Pennsylvania said.

Kretzer described Trumpower's relationship with the victim as on-again, off-again.

"They had known each other since he got out of prison in June 2002," Kretzer said.

In the spring of 1999, Trumpower was sentenced to serve six years in a Maryland prison for false imprisonment, second-degree assault and a firearms violation for the December 1997 hostage-taking of his ex-wife at the Hadley Farms bakery in downtown Smithsburg.

Distraught over the breakup of his marriage, Trumpower arrived at the bakery where his ex-wife worked and spotted her in a car with her boyfriend. He grabbed her and held her at gunpoint for the next four hours inside the bakery, court records in Washington County said.

Released after serving less than 31/2 years of his six-year sentence, Trumpower was living with his sister in Keedysville, Kretzer said. Trumpower allegedly left her home Saturday morning.

Kretzer said the victim and the man in the van had been together all day Saturday and when they got back to the Park and Ride on Md. 144 in Hancock to get the woman's car, Trumpower was waiting.

"She recognized him and then she said, 'get me out of here, he's going to kill me,'" Kretzer said.

The victim and her boyfriend tried to drive the van around Trumpower's vehicle but he blocked the way, Kretzer said. At that point, Kretzer said Trumpower allegedly produced a handgun and pointed it at the woman, her boyfriend and three off-duty correctional officers who happened to be in the parking lot at the time.

Trumpower then left with the woman in the van, Kretzer said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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