A U.S. Naval Academy midshipman was charged yesterday with driving drunk through an Orchard Beach neighborhood Thursday night and trying to run over a Pasadena woman.
The 21-year-old academy junior was arrested shortly after 11:30 p.m., after allegedly driving through a security checkpoint at the Brandon Shores Power Plant and hitting a traffic sign with his white Toyota Supra, authorities said.
Michael James Urch, who lives in Diamond Point, N.Y., was charged with assault with intent to murder, driving while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol and destruction of property.
He was released yesterday morning after posting $7,500 bond. A court date has not yet been set. A spokesman for the Naval Academy said school officials will wait for civilian proceedings to end before taking disciplinary action.
Court documents say that Mr. Urch drove his car through a wooden fence and nearly struck Betty Schultz, 48, who was walking her dog in her front yard shortly before 11:30 p.m. Police said Mrs. Schultz told them the car went across the front lawn of her home in the 7800 block of West End Road and came to a stop. The driver then yelled at the woman, "I'm going to kill you," according to authorities.
The car backed up, nearly hitting Mrs. Schultz again, authorities said. She said in an interview that she was pulled to safety by a neighbor who had run out of his house when he heard the crash.
Mrs. Schultz and her husband, Frank, said that the driver made several attempts to leave the community, but kept steering into dead end streets. Finally, Mr. Shultz said, the car sped down Hilltop Road and onto Fort Smallwood Road, heading north. Anne Arundel County police arrived and were searching for the car when they received a call from the Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. about a white Toyota speeding through the parking lot at Brandon Shores.
Police said that Officer Terry Wilson spotted the car and activated his emergency lights. The Toyota then sped toward the police car, but crashed into a speed-limit sign and stopped about 50 feet away, court documents say.
Court records say Mr. Urch was found to have a blood alcohol content of .24, more then double the legal limit of .10.