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Two-state pursuit ends at gunpoint on Interstate 81

July 09, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A man charged with assaulting his mother and stealing $35 from her at gunpoint Monday night led police on a pursuit that ended Tuesday evening on Interstate 81 in Maryland, where the man demanded officers shoot him, police said.

Jeffrey Lee Hull, 38, of Baron Street in Martinsburg, was taken into custody by Maryland State Police. He will be returned to West Virginia to face several misdemeanor and felony charges stemming from different incidents, according to Cpl. R.L. Gardner of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department and other officers.

Police first started looking for Hull after the Monday incident involving his mother, which police said happened at around 7 p.m. The 72-year-old woman was knocked to the ground and Hull left in a black 1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass that his mother had purchased for him, Gardner alleged. Hull lived with his mother, Gardner said.

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Police spent the night looking for Hull, but did not find him.

On Tuesday, Hull went to the West Virginia State Police office on Edwin Miller Boulevard in Martinsburg and hit a police cruiser with a gun, scuffing the car, Sgt. E.D. Burnett alleged.

He left a note in the cruiser that mentioned money, Burnett said.

Later in the day, West Virginia State Police Trooper R.T. Dyroff spotted Hull's car driving past the barrack. After confirming the car was the one police were seeking, Dyroff turned on his blue lights as Hull pulled onto the I-81 on-ramp at exit 16. Hull shook his head in response, Dyroff said.

On the interstate, speeds ranged from 60 mph to 110 mph, Dyroff said. Trooper J.M. Droppleman backed up Dyroff in the pursuit and Gardner followed the troopers.

In Maryland, a state trooper threw "stop sticks" on the road to try to deflate Hull's tires, but the device hit Hull's car and was ineffective, police said. In heavy traffic, police were able to force Hull to slow down and Hull stopped his car in the left lane, Dyroff said.

With their guns drawn, officers got Hull out of the car and the ground, police said.

"He was hollering, 'Kill me, kill me,'" Gardner said.

On the car's front seat, officers found a loaded 9 mm handgun, Dyroff said.

Police obtained warrants charging Hull with domestic battery and armed robbery, charges that relate to the incident involving his mother.

Given the fact that Hull approached the state police barrack and that he was armed, Burnett said the case could have turned out much worse.

"Give Dyroff a pat on the back," he said.

Williamsport Ambulance crews took Hull to Washington County Hospital for treatment of mace exposure, said ambulance company Lt. Freddie Johnson.

A hospital spokeswoman said Hull was treated at the hospital and released.

Staff writer Laura Ernde contributed to this story.

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