Man accused of firing shotgun during motor vehicle chase


A motorist was arrested early yesterday, accused of firing a shotgun after he was chased down a dead-end street by a couple with whom he had a traffic dispute, state police said.

Joseph F. Bitz, 37, who gave no fixed address, was arrested and charged with assault and reckless endangerment, according to state police.

Police said a woman who was a passenger in the pursuing vehicle used a car telephone to call the Westminster state police barracks. The duty officer heard the shotgun discharge, as did the trooper who was en route to the scene, said First Sgt. Robert L. Windsor.

Police said they received a report that a vehicle had been struck in a hit-and-run accident on Route 26 in Eldersburg and that the driver was pursuing a van. Both vehicles traveled up Route 32 toward Gamber, then east on Bollinger Mill Road until they reached the dead end.

According to the statement of charges, a man took a single-shot 12-gauge shotgun from behind him, loaded a shell from the glove box and fired from the rear of the van. The gun was fired into a wooded area in the general direction of -- but not directly at -- the other vehicle, Windsor said.

Police said the man was arrested at 4: 30 a.m.

The couple who pursued the van were identified as Robert Walter Steen and Nancy Ann Akers. Windsor said late yesterday that no further information was available.

Pub Date: 8/16/96

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