Motorist who hit officer sentenced


A Silver Spring woman was sentenced Monday to nine years in prison for deliberately driving into a Howard County police detective who was investigating her scheme to bilk $3,000 from a Columbia finance company.

Patricia Felecia Myers, 43, was given the prison term after she pleaded with Howard Circuit Judge Raymond Kane Jr. to temper his obligation to punish her with mercy.

"This [incident] has destroyed me," said Myers, fighting back tears. "I've lost everything I had. . . . I lost my freedom."

Myers accepted a plea agreement in April for assault with intent to maim and attempted theft for the Dec. 8 incident outside the Household Finance Center in Columbia's Town Center.

The detective, 32-year-old Patrick McDonald, was not seriously injured in the incident. But a week later, he filed a $1.5 million civil lawsuit against Myers in Circuit Court. The suit is scheduled for trial Dec. 11.

Eight other charges, including assault with intent to murder, were dropped by prosecutors as part of the plea deal. Myers could have been sentenced to a maximum of 16.5 years in the agreement.

Judge Kane chose to give her a sentence favored by the prosecution rather than honor the defense's request for a suspended jail term and supervised probation.

"The facts are egregious," Judge Kane said. "Miss Myers should be punished for her conduct."

Officials at Household Finance Center notified police Dec. 8 that a woman was trying to obtain a $3,000 personal loan by using what they believed to be a fictitious name, according to a police report filed in Circuit Court.

The woman used the same name -- bolstered by a personal identification card and a credit card -- in failed efforts to get loans from Household offices in Baltimore, District Heights and Wheaton, officials told police.

The officials suspected fraud because the applicant had only one form of picture identification and gave a false home telephone number.

Detective McDonald went to the center's office in the 10500 block of Little Patuxent Parkway and found two women sitting in a 1988 Toyota Camry parked outside, the report says. The driver BTC of the car matched the description of the woman trying to get the loans.

The detective approached the car and identified himself as a police officer, but the woman started to drive away, the report says. Detective McDonald ordered the woman to stop, but she kept going.

As the woman was driving, her car hit Detective McDonald on the right knee and knocked him to the ground, the report says. He pulled out his gun and pointed it at the woman, but she kept driving, stopping only when the car hit a curb and could go no further.

After her arrest, Myers told police that she "panicked" when Detective McDonald approached her, the report says. She also said she didn't know she hit him with her car.

Detective McDonald, a five-year police veteran, said in December that he was not pursuing his lawsuit to obtain a large amount of money but instead to curb attacks on officers.

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