Judge cuts sentence of man who led police on car chase


An Anne Arundel County judge reduced the sentence yesterday for a 26-year-old Severna Park man who was convicted of assault after he led police on a high-speed chase though four counties in July 1992.

But Shawn Alfred Chowanetz, of the 1200 block of Purnell Road, will be released from his eight-year prison sentence only if he is able to get into a drug rehabilitation program and to convince a Frederick County Circuit judge to release him, the Anne Arundel judge said.

Judge Raymond G. Thieme, Jr., who sentenced Chowanetz March 29, agreed to put him on five years probation if he is admitted to Second Genesis, in Crownsville, and if a Frederick County judge reduces a 12-year sentence he imposed in the same chase.

Chowanetz had pleaded guilty in both jurisdictions.

The incident started about 12:45 a.m. July 25 when Anne Arundel police arrived at a 7-Eleven at Jumpers Hole Road and Benfield Boulevard to investigate a report of shoplifting.

They spotted Chowanetz in a stolen red Dodge Daytona, heading north on Ritchie Highway. When officers tried to stop the car he repeatedly drove across the median, said Fred Paone, assistant state's attorney.

Police chased Chowanetz to the Baltimore Beltway, then through Baltimore and Howard counties until state police stopped the car on Interstate 70 in Frederick County, shooting at the tires when Chowanetz tried to drive away.

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