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September 07, 2007
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Baltimore officer fires into car to end chase

By Gus G. Sentementes
The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE Police chased a man driving a stolen car through downtown Baltimore yesterday morning, a pursuit that ended with an arrest after an officer fired into the vehicle on a busy street near a hospital just west of downtown, police said.

The driver was not struck by the bullet, but shattered glass injured the finger of another officer. A civilian woman was slightly injured when her vehicle was hit by the car police were chasing, said police spokesman Donny Moses. She was being treated at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Ginger Peale, who works at a parking garage at 701 W. Pratt St., heard the gunshot and said she saw officers trying to break the windows of the stolen car as they arrested the suspect. "He was fighting all the way," she said of the man. "It was just like a movie. I couldn't believe it."

Moses said the incident began about 9 a.m. while members of the Regional Auto Theft Task Force were staking out a stolen car parked at Harlem Avenue and Carey Street in Harlem Park. Police said the detectives were waiting for the driver to get into the car.

An electronic scanning device mounted on the police vehicle indicated that a passing Lexus had also been stolen. Moses said the officers began following that car until its driver apparently realized that police were behind him and sped off.

A chase ensued, during which police said the Lexus was driven onto sidewalks and eventually stopped in the 700 block of W. Pratt St., near the state medical examiner's office and the University of Maryland Medical Center, after hitting a white car.

Moses said officers surrounded the car with their guns drawn and ordered the driver to get out. Police said he did not and instead drove the car toward an officer. One officer fired once into the car, missing the driver but shattering one of the windows, Moses said.

The car then crashed into the concrete wall of a parking garage, and police got the man out of the car and arrested him.

Moses said the Lexus had been reported stolen Sept. 4 from Northeast Baltimore. The driver's name was not released.

Copyright 2007 Baltimore Sun

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