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Police chief aids in high-speed chase

July 22, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - A man claiming a Hagerstown address who was in possession of a New York driver's license was taken into custody Wednesday night following a high-speed chase with Martinsburg's police chief.

The driver of a Nissan Altima, whose name was not released late Wednesday, was taken into custody by Martinsburg Police Department Chief Ted Anderson, with the help of other officers in West Virginia and Maryland, who chased the man's car, Anderson said.

The chase was reported about 9:10 p.m., a Martinsburg Police Department dispatcher said.

Anderson said he saw the Altima in the 100 block of South Elijah Street, an area he was monitoring for rampant drug complaints, and attempted to stop the vehicle for speeding. Anderson, in an unmarked police vehicle, said he followed the vehicle west on King Street then north on Interstate 81.

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Speeds exceeded 100 mph during the pursuit, Anderson alleged.

After the Altima crossed into Maryland, an officer with Maryland State Police aided in the pursuit, said Sgt. Kevin Lewis with the Maryland State Police. Lewis alleged the Altima exited I-81 in the Williamsport area and sped along roads, including Md. 68 and U.S. 11 before crossing back into West Virginia on I-81.

Upon returning to West Virginia, the Altima drove off the main portion of the road onto a strip of grass and the property of a church camp adjacent to I-81, Anderson alleged. He said there, within a half-mile of Marlowe (W.Va.) Elementary School, the Altima was pinned between a police vehicle and a fence, and the man was taken into custody.

Anderson said charges were not issued by 10:45 p.m. Wednesday. He said the driver had a New York driver's license, but claimed to be a resident of Hagerstown.

Anderson, who has been chief of the Martinsburg Police Department for seven years, said he participates in chases every few years because he still patrols the city at times.

"I'm out in the evenings a lot also, so I try to do a lot of active police work," Anderson said. "I don't like to have them, but sometimes there's just an issue you have to confront."

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