A man fleeing police after breaking into his estranged wife's Ellicott City condominium with a sledgehammer died Sunday night after he crashed his car at Route 100 and U.S. 1, authorities said yesterday.
Raymond Edward Warfield Jr., 43, of the 8300 block of Sunset Drive in Ellicott City smashed his way into Mary C. Warfield's condo in the 7600 block of Stony Creek Lane about 7 p.m. and threatened her with a knife, Howard County police said. Police said he was dragging his wife of 20 years into his car when officers arrived.
Warfield, a barber, released his wife and got into his Dodge Durango sport utility vehicle, according to police. Police said the SUV was driven over several lawns in his wife's condominium complex, narrowly missing a police officer.
Warfield drove to Route 100 and U.S. 1, where he lost control of the vehicle and it flipped. Police said they were following, but not chasing, him. They were unsure how fast he was driving and said he was not wearing a seat belt.
Warfield was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was pronounced dead about 8:15 p.m., a hospital spokeswoman said.
Mary Warfield, 43, said in a telephone interview yesterday that her husband was a "good person who just got scared" Sunday night. The two had been separated for nearly eight months, but talked daily on the phone and visited occasionally, she said.
Though they remained on friendly terms, Mary Warfield said, her husband had developed an alcohol problem and "just lost it at the end."
"It was an accident. ... He is not a horrible person, and he just kind of flipped out," she said.
Police said they would not know whether Raymond Warfield was under the influence of alcohol until the results of a pending autopsy are known.
Sun staff writer Lisa Goldberg contributed to this article.