- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 13, 2002

ANNAPOLIS Shots were fired in a police chase yesterday that circled the State House, crashed four police cruisers and left four or five troopers with minor injuries.
As the chase wound from Eastport to Annapolis through the heart of the State House complex at the height of the legislative workday, shots were fired two separate times, Annapolis police Officer Hal Dalton said.
The incident started about 10:30 a.m., when state police spotted a stolen seafood delivery truck near Madison and President streets in Eastport. The truck was reported stolen from Bay's Best Seafood in Grasonville, state police said.
When troopers tried to pull the truck over, its driver refused to stop. The driver then suddenly shifted the truck into reverse and drove at troopers who were on foot, according to state police, who said one trooper then fired at the driver.
The driver whom state police identified as Todd Kenneth Woody, 32, of the 200 block of Hickory Ridge Drive in Queenstown, Md. struck the trooper's cruiser and fled with troopers in pursuit.
Officer Dalton said shots were first fired near Chesapeake Avenue and Americana Drive. It was not clear whether shots were fired by police or by the driver of the truck.
At the intersection of College Avenue and Bladen Street, a trooper tried to position devices on the road to puncture the seafood truck's tires and stop the suspect. But the suspect drove toward the trooper and that trooper shot at him, too, state police said.
The chase continued over a bridge across Spa Creek, through downtown Annapolis and around State Circle, Officer Dalton said.
As the vehicles turned off College Avenue onto Bladen Street, more shots were fired, he said.
The exchange left a bullet hole in a door of the Lowe House Office Building. Gunshots sent at least one lobbyist diving for the bushes, causing minor scrapes.
Maryland Department of General Services Police immediately closed off the area between the Bladen Street entrance to the House office building and the State House and routed all foot traffic between them through pedestrian tunnels that connect the legislative buildings.
Police followed the truck west on Rowe Boulevard and out of the city limits where Annapolis police dropped pursuit, Officer Dalton said.
The suspect rammed several cruisers, state police said. The injured troopers were treated and released, and officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated.
State police said they took Mr. Woody into custody in Glen Burnie, where the chase ended about 11 a.m. on Fifth Avenue, near Crain Highway. He will be charged with first- and second-degree assault, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and several traffic charges related to the chase.
Police cordoned off, for several hours, the intersection between Bladen Street and College Avenue, bordering Lawyers Mall, to investigate the crime scene a block from the State House entrance.
This article is based in part on wire service reports.


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