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Man faces traffic charges

October 05, 2005|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

A man charged with assault and traffic offenses struck a police cruiser before he was arrested early Tuesday, police said.

Joseph Paul Winters, 19, of no fixed address, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, negligent driving, fleeing and eluding, other traffic charges and assault, according to the Hagerstown Police Department.

Police were told about 2:40 a.m. that a vehicle in the first block of South Potomac Street in Hagerstown was weaving between lanes on the road and running red traffic lights, police said. An officer saw the vehicle heading east on Memorial Boulevard near Frederick Street and tried to pull it over, police said.

Winters did not stop the vehicle and continued to drive through downtown and the south end of Hagerstown at low speeds, police said.

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Officers used spike strips - used to puncture a fleeing vehicle's tires - four times, but Winters was able to drive around the strips, police said. Winters eventually drove to a dead end on Virginia Avenue, turned around and drove into a Washington County Sheriff's Office vehicle, police said. Deputies and Maryland State Police were assisting with the chase.

Winters continued to flee, but he stopped at Spruce Street and Wilson Boulevard when one of the vehicle's tires went flat.

He assaulted a police officer during the booking process, police said. There were no injuries during the incident.

Winters was being held on $50,000 bond Tuesday night at the Washington County Detention Center, according to a spokesman there.

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