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Prison escapee faces weapons charges

September 11, 2011|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com
  • Woodrow A. Carmack III
Woodrow A. Carmack III

Hagerstown police brought in extra detectives Saturday night after a Leitersburg-area man who was carrying a bag containing a loaded assault rifle in Hagerstown’s North End told a medical official that he planned to kill people, and told police that there were others like him, Capt. Mark Holtzman said Sunday.

The man, a prison escapee, later recanted, saying he was alone and that his targets were drug-related, Holtzman said. The man told police his intentions had nothing to do with the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and he didn’t plan on harming any innocent civilians, Holtzman said.

The man’s statements — that there were others like him — “that raised our concern a lot,” being the eve of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Holtzman said.

Among the items in the duffel bag the man was carrying were a loaded AK-47 assault rifle with a loaded 30-round magazine seated in the weapon’s frame, and 95 extra rounds of 7.62 ammunition, according to the Hagerstown Police Department’s statement of probable cause.

In addition to the detectives who responded to the initial call, two more detectives and the detective supervisor were called in Saturday night to investigate details related to the call, Holtzman said.

The man recanted his story about there being others and police determined that initial story was not credible, Holtzman said.

Woodrow “Woody” A. Carmack III, 21, of 13438 Clopper Road, was being held Sunday afternoon at the Washington County Detention Center, in lieu of $651,000 in bonds related to Saturday’s incident and two violations of probation, authorities said. The bond for Saturday’s incident was $650,000.

Carmack’s father, Woodrow Allan Carmack Jr., said his son has not lived at the Clopper Road address for several  years.

Carmack is a prison escapee from Bucks County, Pa., near Philadelphia, Holtzman said. Carmack also was wanted on two separate warrants in Washington County, police said.

Carmack was charged with carrying a concealed dangerous weapon, illegal possession of a regulated firearm (as a fugitive from justice), reckless endangerment and convicted felon in possession of a firearm, according to Holtzman and an email from Hagerstown Police.

Police were continuing to investigate the drug aspects of the case, Holtzman said.

Hagerstown Police also were going to question another man as a precaution, even though Hagerstown Police and Washington County Sheriff’s Office officials believe the incidents involving the two men were unrelated, Holtzman said.

The other man is Robert Broadbent, 28, of 50 Saint Paul St. in Boonsboro, who faces weapons charges after a report of shots fired and a man carrying a shotgun in Boonsboro Sunday morning, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident Saturday night in which Carmack was charged began when Hagerstown police Detectives Jason Dietz and Nick Varner went to the 700 block of Pennsylvania Avenue around 7:50 p.m. Saturday for a call about a man wearing Army fatigues and carrying a large duffel bag containing an assault rifle and a large knife, according to Hagerstown Police’s statement of probable cause.

The detectives, who were wearing black raid vests that read “Police,” found the man in the 600 block of Pennsylvania Ave., walking north on the east side of the road, and ordered him to the ground, according to police documents.

The man ran east on Pen Mar Avenue, ignoring police calls to stop, police said. Pen Mar Avenue connects Pennsylvania Avenue and Forest Drive.

Detective Varner fired his Taser and the probes struck the duffel bag, police documents state. The man threw the duffel bag off his shoulders and continued to run, police said.

Dietz fired his Taser so the probes struck the man, who continued to flee, police documents state.

Varner again fired his Taser, with the probes sticking in the outer layer of the man’s jacket so the man was unaffected, police documents state.

As the man approached Forest Drive, he lost his footing and fell, so Varner was able to take the man into custody, police said. The man did not respond to questions, and was in and out of consciousness, so police notified dispatch to send an ambulance.

En route to Meritus Medical Center, the man allegedly told the medic — while Varner was in the ambulance — that he was going to kill whomever he needed to kill, police documents state.

At the hospital, the man allegedly told his attending physician that he was going to do what he had to do after being asked by the doctor what he was doing with an assault rifle, police documents state.

The doctor asked the man if he was going to shoot people and the man allegedly said “yes,” he was going to do what needed to be done, police said.

Also in the duffel bag were a black fixed-blade knife, a pair of camouflage battle-dress uniform-style pants and jacket, a camel-back hydration pack, a green backpack, a pair of black leather gloves, a pair of rain pants, a travel seat cushion, and numerous straps and ropes, according to police documents.

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