County police say that internal affairs officers are investigating ashooting incident Wednesday in which a Prince George's County teen-ager was shot in the shoulder by a patrol officer after a stolen-vehicle chase.
The internal investigation will likely take several weeks, although it appears that the officer fired his gun as a defense against the youth's apparent attempt to run him over, police said.
Police expected to charge the youth Friday with numerous motor vehicle and burglary charges, after suspected burglary tools were foundin his vehicle following the incident.
The teen-ager was to be released Friday evening from the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.
The chase began shortly after midnight, when a patrol officerbegan pursuing a 1985 Toyota 4-Runner that was reportedly speeding on Interstate 70 near Route 97 in Cooksville, police said.
After receiving radio information that the truck had been reported stolen Aug. 5 from Montgomery County, the officer attempted to pull over the vehicle, which was traveling approximately 75 mph, police said.
The truck headed south on Route 94 and east on Route 144 before two othercounty patrol cars were able to force it to stop.
Police said the15-year-old driver of the truck then rammed into one of the patrol cars at the scene.
Another officer got out of his patrol car and was knocked down when the truck backed into him and his car, police said.
Officers said the truck then began driving toward the officer whose car was first struck.
The officer, Charles A. Walker, believed he was going to be run over and was boxed in by his car and nearby trees, police said.
He fired his gun, striking the youth once in the shoulder, said police.
The youth drove off but was arrested moments later by police en route to the scene.
A shotgun and tools believed used for burglaries were recovered from the truck.
Two female passengers, ages 13 and 14, were charged as juveniles with misdemeanor theft and were released to their parents.
The teen-age driverwas reported as a runaway in May, police said.
Walker has been assigned to administrative duties pending the outcome of the internal investigation, police said.
CORPSE IDENTIFIED AS HOMELESS MAN'S
County police have identified the badly decomposed body of a man found Aug. 4 in a wooded area of West Friendship, a police spokesman said.
The man was identified through fingerprint records as Paul Allen Durham, 21, of no fixed address, said Sgt. Gary L. Gardner.
Durham formerly lived in Ellicott City and had most recently been living in the woods, Gardner said.
Durham's body was found in a wooded area near the 1200 block of Frederick Road. A .22 caliber rifle was lying across Durham's lap, police said.
Investigators have found no sign of foul play but have not ruled on the cause of death, Gardner said.
SPRINKLERS SAVE COMPLEX, RESIDENTS
County firefighters are crediting a sprinkler system with preventing injuries and serious fire damage to a Waterloo apartment complex that reported a minor fire Tuesday.
The blaze began shortly before 4:20 p.m. in an apartment in the Sherwood Crossing complex, located in the 6800 block of Old Waterloo Road, firefighters said.
The Fire Department was automatically summoned when the sprinkler system was set off by the fire, which apparently started when flammable material was discarded in a wicker wastebasket, a fire report said.
No one was injured in the incident.
The fire caused an estimated $2,500 in damage.
MODEL ROCKET BLAST BURNS BOY'S FACE
A 13-year-old Ellicott City boy received first- and second-degree burns to his face Wednesday when a model rocket explodedin a field near his home, county rescue workers said.
The boy, John David Hammett of the 4000 block of St. John's Lane, was released Thursday from Johns Hopkins Hospital, police said.
Firefighters said the youth and a friend were playing with the rocket shortly before 5:30 p.m. in a field on St. John's Lane when the mishap occurred.
The boy was attempting to propel the small rocket into the sky when it suddenly exploded in his face, firefighters said.
The boy was flown from the scene by Med-Evac helicopter.
His friend was not injured.
A compilation of some of the crimes reported to Howard County police:
1200 block of Linden Church Road: Aug. 5, a bathroom sink and a cabinet were stolen sometime before 8:45 p.m. from a construction site.
6100 block of Foreland Garth: Aug. 4, a 1961 Chevrolet automobile was reported stolen at 2 a.m. from a residential neighborhood.
5900 block of Turnabout Lane: Aug. 3, a 1987 Honda motorcycle was reported stolen at 2 a.m. from a residential area.
5200 block of Brookway Drive: Aug. 3, a 1980 Datsun pickup truck was reported stolen at 8:30 a.m. from an apartment complex parking lot.
10300 block of Little Patuxent Parkway: Aug. 1, a 1990 Honda Accord automobile was stolen sometime before 7 p.m. from the parking lot of The Mall in Columbia.
5400 block of Beaverkill Road: Aug. 1, a 1991 Chevrolet Blazer vehicle was stolen sometime before 4 p.m. from a residence.
3100 block of Wheaton Way: Aug. 5, a 1991 Nissan Pathfinder vehicle was reported stolen at 5:30 a.m. from a residential area. A 1988 Buick automobile was also reported stolen from the same area around the same time.
2200 block of Mount Hebron Drive: Aug. 2, a 1990 Honda Civic automobile was reported stolen at 6 a.m. from a residence.