Frederick Police Officer Richard Bremer is seen in an undated handout photo released by the Frederick, Md. Police Dept. Frederick Police say Bremer died after crashing his vehicle while on duty, just before midnight Wednesday. (AP Photo)
By Nicholas C. Stern
Frederick News Post
FREDERICK, Md. — Frederick Police Department Officer Richard Mark Bremer died early this morning after attempting to conduct a traffic stop in the 500 block of East South Street in Frederick.
About 11:50 p.m. Wednesday, Bremer, 39, of Myersville, was involved in a single-vehicle traffic crash along a wooded area near a path where he was chasing a fleeing suspect driving a dark pick-up truck, according to Lt. Clark Pennington of the Frederick Police Department.
The suspect, later identified as James Franklin Sweeney Jr., 51, of Frederick, refused to stop and dispatchers lost contact with Bremer soon after. Backup officers found Bremer's cruiser.
Following the fatal crash, Frederick police and Frederick County Sheriff's Office deputies searched numerous locations in attempting to find Sweeney. The vehicle was located on the city's west side and and Sweeney was found in a nearby hotel, according to police.
Sweeney was taken into custody for an active arrest warrant, according to police. Charges from today’s crash are pending. Sweeney has an extensive history of theft charges dating back to 1989, according to Maryland court records.
In the crash, Bremer suffered severe injuries and was transported by helicopter to a trauma center in Hagerstown where he was pronounced dead, police stated.
A five-year veteran of the FPD, Bremer leaves behind a wife and three children. He was assigned to the FPD's patrol division.
Frederick Police Chief Kim C. Dine remembered Bremer as an energetic officer who loved coming to work every day.
Dine said he’d met with Bremer’s parents and wife earlier Thursday morning to express his condolences. Bremer’s father told Dine that Bremer enjoyed his duties as an officer so much, he would have worked for free.
Wednesday night, when most people were in bed, Bremer was out trying to keep the city safe, Dine said. “He loved being out on the street, and that’s what he died doing.”
He said that Bremer will be honored Friday at the Frederick Police Department’s 150 year anniversary gala.
“Obviously, this tragedy is part of our 150 years,” Dine said. “Clearly this will be about him and all the men and women of this department.”
An investigation into the crash is ongoing this morning. Members of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit are heading the investigation with support being provided by members of the Frederick Police Department Accident Reconstruction Unit.
Anyone with information can call Lt. Pennington at 301-694-2100.
Copyright 2008 Frederick News Post