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Man charged in connection with theft of automobile

October 05, 2007|By HEATHER KEELS

It took a phone call from a girlfriend for authorities to identify an "uncooperative and belligerent" auto theft suspect who led police on a high-speed chase, spit on a police car and gave two false names over the course of his arrest early Wednesday, a Maryland State Police trooper said in charging documents.

Richard Dane Small, 22, of 412 Reynolds Ave. in Hagerstown, was charged with unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, speeding, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, giving a false name to police, and failure to display license and registration on demand, according to Washington County District Court documents.

A trooper clocked a vehicle driving 88 mph in a 65-mph zone on westbound Interstate 70 east of Md. 66 Wednesday around 1:45 a.m., according to court documents. The driver was unable to produce his license and registration and, when asked to step out for a sobriety test, sped away, reaching a speed of more than 100 mph in a 50-mph zone, going the wrong way around a traffic circle and crossing a double yellow line to pass a vehicle at the crest of a hill, the trooper said.

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The driver eventually drove off the right side of Mount Aetna Road into a yard and through a barbed-wire fence, the trooper said. He fled on foot, but was caught about 100 yards away, the trooper said.

Throughout the arrest, the driver continuously shouted profanities, and he fell onto the hood of the police car twice while he was being searched, the trooper said. The driver said he was "on crack," and passed out in the police cruiser on the way to the barrack, the trooper said.

After his arrest, the driver gave his name as "Damon Daron Smith," but was identified as Small when a woman called the Commissioner's Office to ask about his bond, according to charging documents.

Later Wednesday morning, the vehicle that Small was driving was reported stolen in Frederick, Md., according to charging documents.

Small was being held on $100,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 26 at 8:30 a.m. in Washington County District Court.

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