A 17-year-old Taneytown youth who was supposed to be on home detention is being held at a juvenile facility in Laurel after a high-speed chase that police said endangered the lives of two adults and a 3-year-old boy.
The youth, whose name was withheld because of his age, has been charged by Taneytown city police with three counts of reckless endangerment and six counts of harassment in the Saturday incident.
The incident occurred less than 24 hours after the youth was released from the Charles H. Hickey Jr. School for juvenile offenders in Baltimore County and placed under home detention on drug charges, said Officer Paul Wingate.
"This boy just got probation on drug charges where he was charged as an adult," said Officer Wingate. "These kids think the system is a joke. They just get out of one jam and into another."
The boy had been wearing a home detention bracelet but had cut the device from his wrist before the chase, Officer Wingate said.
"Evidently he figured that because he was charged as an adult [in the drug case], he didn't have to wear it, or something like that, he said," the officer reported.
In Saturday's incident, the youth and a 22-year-old companion were in their car talking to two Keymar residents who were in another car, Officer Wingate said. The Keymar residents were leaving the Taneytown Shopping Center at about 2 p.m., he said.
For reasons that are unclear, the 22-year-old, who was driving the car in which the youth was a passenger, began to tailgate the blue Pontiac in which the Keymar residents were riding with their 3-year-old son, according to police reports.
The driver of the first car sped up to elude his pursuers and a chase ensued. The drivers ignored stop signs during the chase, which took them through the back roads of Taneytown, Union Bridge and Keymar at speeds up to 80 mph, Officer Wingate said.
The chase ended at the home of the Keymar residents in the 12000 block of Keymar Road. The driver of the second car fled when one of the Keymar residents confronted him and the youth with an unloaded shotgun as their car pulled into the driveway.
The other Keymar Road resident was inside calling police, Officer Wingate said.
Police said they tracked down the car using a description and a partial license tag number the couple reported. The car had been borrowed from an acquaintance who was not involved in the chase, Officer Wingate said.
One of the Keymar residents told police he had filed papers for a warrant for the 22-year-old's arrest, Officer Wingate said.
The officer said one of the Keymar residents was acquainted with the suspects but did not know why they chased his car or yelled at him.