WILLIAMSPORT — A Baltimore man who led authorities on a high-speed chase through West Virginia and Maryland Thursday morning was apprehended near Williamsport when the car he was driving crashed into a police car and ended up in a wooded area near the C&O Canal, according to Maryland State Police.
Gary Silas Wingate Jr., 23, was charged with two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault, theft, malicious destruction of property and false statement to a police officer, according to a spokesman for the Washington County Detention Center, where Wingate was being held Thursday night.
The chase began just before 10 a.m., when Wingate sped off in a late model Mercury Cougar after he was pulled over by West Virginia State Police on Interstate 81 in Berkeley County, police said.
Maryland authorities picked up the chase when the car crossed the state line at a high rate of speed.
Cpl. A. Shusko of the Maryland State Police said troopers pursued the car from I-81 onto Interstate 70 East, then followed it as it turned onto Downsville Pike (Md. 632).
The chase continued through Downsville, where police set up "stop sticks" to puncture the tires, troopers said. Air slowly leaked from two of the tires as the pursuit continued onto Dam No. 4 Road.
Shusko said Wingate tried to pass a state police cruiser that pulled in front of him, but he lost control of his car and crashed in a clump of trees near the dam.
Police said Wingate was captured at about 10:20 a.m. at the scene and taken to Meritus Medical Center near Hagerstown to be treated for minor injuries.
A loaded .357-caliber Astra revolver was found under the driver's seat of the Cougar, troopers said.
Shusko said Wingate also gave a fake name.
The Cougar and the state police cruiser that were involved in the collision had to be towed from the scene.
Staff Writer Dave McMillion contributed to this story.