A 16-year-old Forest Hill youth has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, accused of shooting at a Harford County sheriff's deputy early yesterday, authorities said.
Justin Jacob Bristol, who was charged as an adult, was being held without bail at the Harford County Detention Center, police said.
The Emergency Operations Center received a call about 7 a.m. yesterday from someone saying that a teenager was agitated and possibly suicidal, police said. The caller said the teenager, who does not have a driver's license, had taken his grandmother's 2002 red Jeep Liberty without permission.
Police said they learned that that the teenager had driven to a relative's home in Jarrettsville, where no one was at home, and had stolen several shotguns, rifles and ammunition.
Deputies set up traffic observation points and found the Jeep, which was seen being driven erratically along Conowingo Road near downtown Bel Air, about 8 a.m. A pursuit ensued and lasted for a few minutes, police said, until the driver appeared to pull over. As the officer approached the Jeep, the driver fired three shots from a rifle and sped off, police said. The vehicle rolled over at Irwin and Conowingo roads a short time later.
The deputy, who was not injured, said he heard three shots and believed that one shot had struck his vehicle.
The teenager, who suffered minor injuries, was taken to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, where he was treated and released yesterday.
Police said that additional charges against Bristol include attempted second-degree murder, attempted first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment with a vehicle. A bail hearing is set for 1:15 p.m. Monday.
Bristol, who attends school out of the county as a nonpublic placement student, lives on Chestnut Hill Road.