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Officers treated after collision

January 15, 2006|By MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

Two Hagerstown Police Department officers who were involved in a Friday night pursuit that ended in a collision on U.S. 11 in Williamsport were treated at Washington County Hospital and later released, police said Saturday.

The man accused in Friday night's armed robbery of the CVS Pharmacy on Wesel Boulevard in Hagerstown that triggered the pursuit was being held Saturday on $29,000 bail at Eastern Regional Jail in Martinsburg, W.Va., officials said Saturday.

The 7:24 p.m. robbery triggered the pursuit by Washington County Sheriff's Department deputies and Hagerstown Police Department officers and led to the collision of a city police cruiser and a passenger vehicle minutes after the robbery.

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Hagerstown Police Department Officers Jesse Duffey, who was the driver of the cruiser, and Brian Barnhart, who was the passenger, were taken to the hospital by ambulance with what were described Friday night as minor injuries.

The unidentified driver of the passenger car also was taken to Washington County Hospital for treatment. No information was available on the driver.

The pursuit continued into West Virginia, where state police had been alerted to be on the lookout for a 1993 gold Cadillac. They picked up the chase and a short time later, the vehicle crashed, rolled over several times and came to rest against a state police cruiser.

The driver, Edward Bryan Kemner, 23, of 314 Harris Way in Martinsburg, has been charged by the Hagerstown Police Department with one count each of armed robbery, robbery, misdemeanor theft, use of a handgun in a crime of violence, possession of a handgun and second-degree assault, according to Lt. Michael King.

Sgt. C.C. Morton of West Virginia State Police said Kemner is facing charges of fleeing, bringing stolen property into the state, failure to maintain control of his vehicle, reckless driving, speeding and improper passing.

Damage to the passenger side of the West Virginia cruiser was estimated at $1,500, Morton said. No one was injured in that collision.

The incident began when police said a man entered the CVS on Wesel Boulevard and went to the pharmacy counter, where he advised he had a gun and demanded a specific narcotic drug.

The man then fled the store, police said. A customer in CVS at the time followed the suspect out and observed him get into a gold Cadillac and drive away.

Two Washington County Sheriff's Department patrol deputies who were nearby were alerted and began to follow the vehicle. When the deputies attempted to stop the Cadillac, it fled from the deputies onto Interstate 81, then to Md. 68 and into Williamsport.

Police said the suspect then turned south on U.S. 11 toward West Virginia, nearly striking one of the deputies' cruisers while in Williamsport. Two city officers in one marked car had joined in the chase to assist the deputies.

The driver of a passenger car involved in the collision had pulled over for a Washington County Sheriff's Department cruiser that was involved in the chase, said Capt. Charles Summers, acting Hagerstown police chief. The driver then pulled back onto the road, right into the path of the cruiser, which was following the deputy.

Both had lights and sirens activated, Summers said.

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