Washington County MD Jan 12 2018
No one was injured when a Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputy fired a shot at a man after he allegedly tried to strike another deputy with a vehicle during a shoplifting call Wednesday night at the Target store in Halfway, Maryland State Police said.
Melson S. Perry, 26, of Landover, Md., was able to get away from authorities for a short time before he was arrested at a home in the 10000 block of Bower Avenue near Hagerstown, according to a news release from state police.
Perry is charged with first-degree assault, theft of less than $1,500 and theft scheme of less than $1,500.
He is being held in the Washington County Detention Center pending a bond hearing.
Troopers said in the release that Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore requested the help of state police to conduct an investigation into an assault on a deputy during an arrest attempt.
The incident involved a deputy firing a weapon.
Investigators from the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit and Criminal Enforcement Division responded to the scene.
The preliminary investigation shows that sheriff’s office detectives were contacted late Wednesday afternoon by an employee at the Target store in the 17000 block of Cole Road in Halfway.
The employee said a known theft-scheme suspect was in the store.
Troopers said the suspect, later identified as Perry, was known to enter Target stores, where he would return a previously purchased iPad for a refund or gift card. Instead of returning an iPad, however, he would return an iPad box with materials inside to simulate the weight of merchandise inside.
Two deputies, one wearing a uniform and driving a marked patrol vehicle, responded to the store shortly before 5:30 p.m. and waited in the parking lot. They were notified when the suspect was leaving the store after he returned an iPad box for a refund.
According to the preliminary investigation, the suspect ran when one of the deputies approached him on foot. The deputy in the marked patrol car drove by the suspect and parked. He then exited the patrol car and attempt to arrest the suspect.
Police said the deputy unknowingly parked his patrol car in front of the suspect’s 2015 Dodge Charger. The suspect got into his vehicle as one deputy approached from the front and the other deputy from the driver’s side door.
The deputy grabbed the driver’s door while commanding the suspect to surrender. Instead of giving up, police said the suspect accelerated and drove directly at the deputy approaching the front of the vehicle.
Troopers said the deputy who had been at the driver’s door fired his pistol as the vehicle drove at the other deputy.
The Dodge struck the patrol car and a privately-owned vehicle as Perry drove between them and fled from the parking lot.
After authorities issued a description of the suspect and vehicle, the Dodge was found abandoned with the registration plates removed in the 17000 block of Diane Drive near Hagerstown.
Police determined the vehicle was registered to the suspect.
Later that evening, a deputy found Perry at a residence in the 10000 block of Bower Avenue. He was uninjured and arrested without incident.
Police said they intend to obtain a warrant to search the Dodge.
Mullendore said the deputy would be placed on administrative leave, with pay, until the investigation is concluded.