Preliminary hearing set for man accused of threatening 'to kill people'

September 12, 2011|By DAN DEARTH |
  • Woodrow A. Carmack III
Woodrow A. Carmack III

HAGERSTOWN — A Washington County District Court judge on Monday kept bond at $650,000 for a Hagerstown man who police allege said he intended to shoot people with an assault rifle.

Judge Mark D. Thomas said during a bond review hearing Monday that he wouldn’t change the bond amount that was set earlier for Woodrow A. Carmack III, 21, formerly of Clopper Road in Hagerstown.

“I believe that under the circumstances, the bond is reasonable,” Thomas told Carmack via a closed-circuit television link between the courthouse and the Washington County Detention Center.

Thomas set Carmack’s preliminary hearing for Oct. 6.

Carmack is charged with one count each of wear and carry a dangerous weapon, reckless endangerment, possession of a regulated firearm (convicted of crime of violence) and possession of a regulated firearm (fugitive of justice).

The statement of probable cause filed over the weekend in Washington County District Court alleges that police found a loaded AK-47 assault rifle with a loaded 30-round magazine seated into the frame of the weapon and 95 rounds of ammunition.

The gun and ammunition were found in a duffle bag Carmack discarded during a foot chase that began at about 8:50 p.m. Saturday in the 600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, moved eastward and ended in the area of Forest Drive.

Police said they shot three Taser blasts at Carmack during the chase.

“(Detective Nicholas) Varner yelled to Carmack to stop,” the statement of probable cause said. “At this time, Det. Varner deployed his Taser and fired the probes at Carmack as he ran eastbound. The probes struck the duffle bag and had no effect on Carmack.

“Carmack then threw the duffle bag off his shoulders and continued to run,” the statement of probable cause alleges. “(Detective Jason) Dietz deployed his Taser with the probes striking Carmack. Carmack continued to flee. Det. Dietz stopped and secured the duffle bag. Det. Varner continued to pursue Carmack and deployed a second set of probes through his Taser. The probes struck Carmack and stuck in the outer layer of Carmack’s jacket, however, Carmack was not affected by the Taser. Carmack continued to flee and as he approached Forest Drive, he lost his footing and fell.”

Police said Carmack was taken to the hospital because he faded in and out of consciousness, and was unresponsive to police at the scene.

“I am so glad they didn’t have to shoot him or nobody else got hurt,” his father, Woodrow Carmack Jr., said Monday.

The elder Carmack said his son’s problems started in elementary school, when he acted out in class, and stole his school principal’s telephone and buried it.

“He was always defiant, testing people,” Woodrow Carmack Jr. said. “He would always yell. He always talked a big game, but I don’t think he would have hurt anybody.”

Police said a background check showed Woodrow A. Carmack III also had two warrants on him in Washington County and was an escapee from Bucks County, Pa.

The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office did not return two telephone calls seeking comment on the charges against Carmack or details about his escape.

The statement of probable cause says Carmack was convicted of aggravated assault in Pennsylvania on Feb. 15, and was convicted of second-degree assault in Washington County on March 8.

According to court documents, he was charged in March with three counts of second-degree assault and two counts of resisting arrest. He also has been charged with theft and violating a protection order, among other counts, according to online court records.

Police said Carmack told a paramedic and an officer in the ambulance that he “was going to kill people.” When asked who, Carmack allegedly said he would kill whomever “he needed to kill.”

Court documents state that Carmack also told a doctor that he planned to shoot people.

Among the items that were found in the duffle bag were an AK-47 assault rifle, a fixed-blade knife, a pair of fatigues, a camel-back hydration pack, a green backpack, a pair of leather gloves, a pair of rain pants and a travel seat cushion.

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