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Man charged in armed robbery of AC&T

July 21, 2003|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

In an attempt to catch a city man suspected of driving a stolen car Sunday afternoon, city police and sheriff's deputies had to contend not only with speeds of up to 100 mph on local roads, but also with the knowledge that there was at least one child in the car.

Once sheriff's deputies did catch the man, they realized he was wanted in connection with a Friday morning armed robbery in Washington County.

Police charged Dwayne Anthony Brewer, 33, of the first block of East Baltimore Street in Hagerstown, with three counts of reckless endangerment, and one count each of reckless driving, negligent driving and fleeing/eluding police as a result of the Sunday pursuit, according to a Hagerstown Police Department news release.

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Brewer was charged by the Washington County Sheriff's Department with a felony count of theft, multiple traffic offenses and possession of crack cocaine on Sunday.

Deputies also charged him with armed robbery, robbery, felony theft, use of a handgun in commission of a felony, two counts of first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment in an alleged 6:30 a.m. robbery Friday of two money orders at the AC&T station at 16504 Virginia Ave. in Williamsport.

Patrol officers from the city and the sheriff's deputies began following Brewer, who allegedly refused to stop for city Officer Wayne Hose on South Locust Street, just before 2:30 p.m. Sunday, the release said. The pursuit took police through areas of Hagerstown, Funkstown and Boonsboro, according to the release.

City police Sgt. Paul Kifer said Hose initially intended to stop Brewer because the 2004 Oldsmobile Alero he was driving was reported stolen a week ago from the Sheetz parking lot on Dual Highway.

Kifer said patrol officers followed the Alero but did not engage in a full-blown chase. He said there was concern because officers knew at least one child was in the car. Sheriff's deputies later discovered there were three children in the car, ranging in ages from 2 to 7.

"We weren't chasing him per se - we were trying to keep him in sight hoping he'd jump out of the car and do a foot chase," Kifer said. "We did not want to push the situation and cause any kind of accident knowing there was at least one small child in the car."

However, Kifer said the driver showed "total disregard" for the safety of the three children inside the car, who were not identified.

The situation began at 2:23 p.m. when the driver allegedly disregarded Hose's orders to exit the Alero, police said. The driver of the vehicle then sped east on Baltimore Street past Washington County Hospital, where Hose lost site of the Alero, police said.

Police spotted the vehicle moments later going more than 100 mph on Frederick Street heading toward Funkstown, according to police. City police again lost track of the Alero near the Good Humor Breyer's Ice Cream plant.

Minutes later, Deputy Scott Smith saw the vehicle one mile west of Boonsboro on Lappans Road (Md. 68). Following a brief pursuit, Brewer stopped the car, got out and laid, face-down, on the ground, according to sheriff's department Investigator Greg Alton. Alton said Smith took Brewer into custody without further incident.

Alton said a small amount of crack cocaine was found in the Alero and a .22-caliber handgun believed to be used in the Williamsport robbery was found at his residence.

A bond hearing for Brewer was scheduled Sunday night.

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