Car chase ends in crash, arrest 2 others charged with 'jacklighting'


A Sykesville man who may have been spotlighting deer led Maryland State Police and Natural Resources Police officers on a high-speed chase late Sunday night before he was caught near Lisbon in Howard County after his car slid sideways and flipped over.

Two other Carroll County men also were arrested Sunday on Interstate 70 near near Route 32 in Howard County and were charged with jacklighting in the Howard landfill off Marriottsville Road.

The Sykesville man, who state police identified as James Alton Markel Sr., 35, of Manor Road, was given 13 traffic citations after he was released from Carroll County General Hospital.

He was treated at the hospital for minor abrasions he suffered when his car rolled over during the chase, said Tfc. George Preger.

Mr. Markel was charged with violations ranging from negligent and reckless driving to failure to drive within a single lane to fleeing and eluding, Trooper Preger said.

"DNR [Natural Resources police] can't give traffic citations, so I issued them," the trooper said.

In the second incident, Natural Resources Police arrested Alan Lee Aubin, 45, of Feeser Road in Taneytown, and Wilson David Gamber Jr., 39, of Weston Chapel Road in New Windsor, and charged them with jacklighting in the landfill.

Spotlighting, an illegal practice in Maryland, is when a hunter uses a bright light to search for deer herds and then returns later to shoot them, said Michael O'Brien, a Department of Natural Resources public information officer.

Jacklighting is spotlighting while possessing a weapon, Mr. O'Brien said.

In the first incident, about 10:30 p.m., Natural Resources Officer Paul Hanyok, who was driving through the area in a patrol vehicle, reported that he saw the suspect driving off Hoods Mill Road and shining his headlights across a field, possibly spotlighting for deer.

The driver turned off his headlights and sat in the field for about a minute, then drove away with his headlights still off. The car nearly collided with two passing cars, Mr. O'Brien said.

Officer Hanyok attempted to stop Mr. Markel, who is deaf, using his emergency lights and siren. When Mr. Markel did not respond, the officer passed him and tried to block the Subaru Justy that Mr. Markel was driving.

Mr. Markel turned and began speeding south on Route 97.

"He basically kept driving around until he went into Howard County," said Trooper Preger, whom officer Hanyok had called for assistance. A Howard police officer also joined the chase.

Trooper Preger said the suspect "reached a speed as high as 85 miles per hour," before he then suddenly "went into a turn and rolled the vehicle."

Mr. Markel left the Subaru on his own as the trooper attempted to assist him.

Then the officers handcuffed him and placed him face down on the ground, where he remained motionless until an ambulance took him to the hospital, Mr. O'Brien said.

Mr. Markel was cited with the traffic violations on his release from the hospital.

Trooper Preger said Howard County police also are considering charges against Mr. Markel.

Natural Resources Police are investigating spotlighting charges, Mr. O'Brien said.

In the other incident, about 11 p.m., Mr. O'Brien said Natural Resources police in a helicopter, using an infrared detection system, reported that they saw two men jacklighting in the landfill.

The two men, police said, were driving through the landfill in a pickup truck shortly after 10 p.m. shining hand-held spotlights through the truck's windows.

When two men left the landfill, Natural Resources police Sgt. William Schuler, on ground patrol, stopped them on westbound Interstate 70 near Route 32 and arrested them.

The sergeant reported that he seized two spotlights, a high-powered rifle and several rounds of ammunition from the truck, Mr. O'Brien said.

That case, involving a must-appear offense, is scheduled for trial Feb. 18 in District Court in Ellicott City, Mr. O'Brien said.

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