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Man charged after high-speed pursuit in Va., W.Va.

March 05, 2013|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Police said a 22-year-old man who led them on a high-speed pursuit in Virginia and West Virginia late Monday night and early Tuesday morning later admitted that he was fleeing in a pickup truck that he stole from a hospital in Maryland.

Matthew Michael Cameron, of no fixed address, was arraigned Tuesday by Berkeley County Magistrate Harry L. Snow on single felony counts of fleeing while driving under the influence, receiving/transferring stolen property and bringing stolen property into the state, according to police and court records.

Cameron, who was being held in Eastern Regional Jail on Tuesday night, also was arraigned on a fugitive from justice warrant, according to court documents.

Shortly after midnight, Berkeley County deputies were called to assist the Frederick County (Va.) Sheriff’s Office with the pursuit of a vehicle that had entered Berkeley County traveling north on Winchester Avenue (U.S. 11), according to a news release from the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department.

Frederick County deputies were attempting to pull over the vehicle for a narcotics violation, the release said. A check of the license of the vehicle, a 2010 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, revealed that it had been reported stolen in Montgomery County, Md., by Tacoma Park police, according to court documents.

The Toyota led police north on U.S. 11, reaching the intersection with W.Va. 9 and W.Va. 45 near the City of Martinsburg, the release said. Police used stop sticks to deflate the left rear tire of the Tacoma, which turned right onto Apple Harvest Drive (W.Va. 9) and traveled about one-and-a-half miles before spinning out in the area of State Circle, police said.

Deputies from Berkeley and Frederick counties and West Virginia State Police troopers took Cameron into custody.

Berkeley County Sheriff’s Deputy Cory Welcome said in the criminal complaint that the suspect vehicle was traveling at speeds of 70 miles per hour or more during the pursuit on Winchester Avenue before it was stopped, according to court documents.

Welcome said the defendant later told police that he had been drinking beer and also took Coricidin HBP Cough & Cold pills, according to court documents.

The pills, which are known as Triple C’s, Skittles, Robo and Poor Man’s PCP, among other street names, contain an over-the-counter cough suppressant — Dextromethorphan — that is often abused in high doses to generate euphoria and visual and auditory hallucinations, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Police said Cameron told deputies that he was admitted to a hospital in Maryland after overdosing on Coricidin and stole the vehicle from the valet parking area of the health care center after he was released.

Police said Cameron indicated he was homeless and had stolen the vehicle because he was trying to get back to Florida and needed a ride, according to court documents.

Police said Cameron admitted that he took the keys for the stolen truck from the valet box at the hospital, according to court documents.

A sobriety test indicated the concentration of alcohol in Cameron’s blood was .082, according to court documents. The state legal limit is .08.

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