Officer, wife injured in crash with suspect fleeing holdup

THE BALTIMORE SUN

A Baltimore police officer and his wife were severely injured in Middle River yesterday evening when a robber fleeing a holdup in a stolen car crashed into their motorcycle, Baltimore County police said.

City police Detective Mark Dwayne Honaker was operating the motorcycle, with his wife sitting behind him, heading north on Martin Boulevard when the Dundalk couple's bike was hit by the oncoming car, said Officer Shawn Vinson, a county police spokesman.

Sherry Lynn Honaker was in critical condition at Maryland Shock Trauma Center with multiple injuries. Mark Honaker was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center with a broken leg, police said.

The incident began about 6:30 p.m. when the robber walked into the Family Dollar Store at Martin Plaza in the 1300 block of Martin Blvd., displayed what appeared to be a gun and demanded money.

After being given cash by a clerk, the gunman encountered a woman identified only as Christine Jones - police were unable to say whether it was in the store or nearby - and forced her to the parking lot, where he took her 1990 Buick Skylark.

The robber drove north on Martin Boulevard while officers in the area responded to reports of the holdup. At Martin Boulevard and Pulaski Highway, the robber saw police cars ahead and made a U-turn.

Just past Bird River Road, he lost control, crossed the double yellow line and hit the motorcycle, struck a Volkswagen Jetta and came to a stop after crashing into a parked car.

"He came careening down Middle River Road," said the Jetta's driver, electrical engineer Charles David May of Bel Air.

May, 58, an electrical engineer, suffered only a scratch on his arm. Just before the crash, he said, he got a good look at the suspect: "His eyes were real wide."

The suspect - a 22-year-old White Marsh resident - was pulled from the Buick by police and taken to the Essex Precinct. Police said they recovered the stolen cash and the weapon, which turned out to be a BB gun.

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