An off-duty Harford County sheriff’s deputy fired his service weapon at a man who he said became combative and then fled after the man rear-ended the deputy's vehicle, the Sheriff's Office said Monday night.
The altercation led to a chase that ended with the man crashing his vehicle and then being arrested after a foot chase.
Charged is William Redding Harvey V, 33, of the 1600 block of Dulaney Drive in Jarrettsville. After he was released from the hospital around 3:30 a.m., Harvey was arrested by sheriff's deputies and charged with second-degree assault, resisting arrest, obstructing and hindering police, failure to obey a lawful order of a police officer. He was taken to Harford County Detention Center and released on $3,000 bond.
A little before 5 p.m., an off-duty deputy assigned to the sheriff’s office Violent Crimes Task Force, had just ended his shift and was headed to his home in Harford County, according to Eddie Hopkins, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.
Deputy First Class Christopher Behles, 37, was driving north on Route 23 (Norrisville Road) and was stopping behind a car that was turning left onto White Hall Road, Hopkins said.
As the deputy came to a stop, his unmarked sheriff's car was rear-ended by a black Toyota 4Runner, according to Hopkins, driven by a man later identified as Harvey.
Behles, who was in plain clothes, got out of his car and showed his badge as he went to talk to the driver of the 4Runner about the crash, Hopkins said.
It’s unclear what happened next, Hopkins said, but “there was some indication to the deputy he [the other driver] wasn’t going to be cooperative.”
Behles told investigators he had reason to believe Harvey was planning to flee the scene, according to Hopkins, at which point the deputy told Harvey he would be arrested if he did.
“We believe the deputy tried to reach into the car to bring the suspect out of the car,” Hopkins said.
Harvey is alleged to have started to pull away from the deputy, who was still at the driver’s side door and the deputy was “dragged or caught up in the door, and the car pulled away with the deputy,” Hopkins said.
At some point, Behles got caught up in the vehicle's movements as Redding tried to pull away and "concerned for his safety and believed that he was at risk of being seriously injured or killed," fired his weapon, according to a news release from the Sheriff's Office.
investigators are unsure how many shots were fired and what was hit when it was fired, Hopkins said.
“All we know is that it was fired,” he said of the weapon.
According to Hopkins, Harvey pulled away and sped off west on Route 23. Behles got back into his car and chased the Toyota, which turned left onto Route 439 into Baltimore County and then tried to make a right turn onto a side street, Hopkins said.
Harvey lost control of the 4Runner and rolled the vehicle, then tried to run from Behles, who chased and caught up to him. The deputy then held Harvey at gunpoint until backup deputies arrived, Hopkins said.
Harvey was taken to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air with minor injuries.
Hopkins initially said investigators had questions about the driver's identity and the license plates on the car.
Behles was taken to St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson with minor injuries and was later released. He has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation, Hopkins said.
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