PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. (March 30, 2009)—A bizarre incident in Calvert County Friday led to a high speed chase that ended with a crash, and the driver being subdued by a police K-9 and a Taser. Derek Kent Downey, 20, of Lusby, the driver of the vehicle, allegedly threatened and assaulted several people prior to the chase. Downey was arrested and charged with three counts of attempted first degree assault, three counts of second degree assault, malicious destruction of property, disorderly conduct, maliciously setting fire, reckless conduct, intentionally inflicting bodily harm on an animal used by law enforcement, and numerous traffic violations.
The incident began at the Lake Lariat basketball court on Chisholm Trail in
Lusby where Downey allegedly attacked three teens with a knife and subsequently tried to run them over with his blue Ford F-150 pickup truck, according to police. The teens told police that Downey engaged them in an argument over playing basketball.
The three teens evaded Downey's alleged knife attack and no one was injured. Downey then got into his truck and started spinning tires in the gravel parking lot, chased the victims with his vehicle, subsequently striking and knocking over a wooden post, according to police.
Lt. Richard Thomas of the sheriff's office spotted Downey's pick-up truck on H.G. Trueman Road and attempted a traffic stop but the vehicle kept going, heading north on H.G. Trueman Road, then turning north onto Md. Rt. 4 at speeds in excess of 100 mph, according to police.
DFC Richard Weems placed stop-sticks on Md. Rt. 4 just north of Parran Road. Police say Downey attempted to avoid the stop-sticks and lost control of the vehicle. The truck skidded to the left, hitting a guardrail, then rolled over several times landing on the drivers' side in a ditch.
Downey attempted to get out of the vehicle window still armed with the knife, say police. Police used K-9 Keloh to attempt to subdue Downey, but Downey began to make slashing movements with the knife at Keloh, then threw the knife out of the vehicle and exited it. Downey, who was on the ground near the knife, refused to comply with verbal demands from officers and DFC Fitzgerald used his Taser gun to subdue him, according to police.
Downey was placed under arrest and secured in handcuffs. He received medical attention from personnel of the St. Leonard Volunteer Rescue Squad and transported to Calvert Memorial Hospital.
Subsequent to the arrest, a fourth victim advised police that Downey had come to her home on San Angelo Lane after leaving the basketball court. He allegedly knocked on the windows of the house, screaming that he was going to kill the victim and her family. The victim told police she observed Downey light a gas can and lawn mower on fire on her front porch.
Downey was treated and released from the hospital and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center to await an appearance before the District Court Commissioner on the charges.