Police charge one man, seeking a second after surprise traffic stop 'I guess they thought I was chasing them,' officer says


A passenger in a moving car apparently panicked after seeing a police cruiser and leaped out, surprising a Howard County officer who had no idea he would soon be arresting someone on drug charges.

The strange sequence of events unfolded Wednesday evening: Officer Christopher Adams made a U-turn on White Acre Road in Columbia, responding to an accident elsewhere, and suddenly saw a man lying in a pool of blood in the Oakland Mills village street.

Though Adams said he first suspected a hit-and-run accident, he changed his mind after finding suspected drugs at the scene.

"At this point, the victim is now a suspect in something," said Adams, who says he called for police to monitor the injured man at Howard County General Hospital, where he was taken by ambulance.

But the man fled his hospital bed when he spotted an officer approaching him. "He knew he was in trouble," Adams said.

Police would not identify the suspect, who was at large.

Meanwhile, Adams said, he saw a Nissan Sentra about 150 feet away at the side of the road and approached it. The driver ran from the car into nearby woods, where Adams arrested him.

Irving Alexander Conwell, 19, of the 8900 block of Footed Ridge in Columbia was charged with possession of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute, fleeing and eluding and leaving the scene of an accident.

"I guess they thought I was chasing them," Adams said. "The guy in the back must have just freaked out."

Pub Date: 7/17/98

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