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Suspect shot by trooper charged with assault

CHESTERTOWN — A Centreville man who allegedly dragged a state trooper with his pickup truck early Saturday morning, April 4, before being shot by that trooper has been charged with assault and other crimes.

After consultation with Queen Anne’s County State’s Attorney Lance Richardson, Deny R. Coursey, 44, of Elm Street, was charged Saturday afternoon with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, fleeing and eluding police, violation of the Governor's Executive Order during the coronavirus state of emergency, obstructing and hindering, and reckless driving, according to Greg Shipley, public information officer for the Maryland State Police. Coursey is being held without bond at the Queen Anne's County Detention Center.

The trooper is a four-year-veteran of the Maryland State Police; he is assigned to road patrol duties at the Centreville Barrack, Shipley said..

Coursey was flown by a Maryland State Police helicopter Saturday morning to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore where he was treated for a gunshot wound. Coursey was released from the hospital later Saturday and taken into custody by MSP investigators who returned him to the Centreville Barrack, where he was later charged.

The injured trooper was also treated at Shock Trauma. He also was released Saturday and is recovering from his injuries at home., Shipley said.

The preliminary investigation indicates that shortly before 3 a.m. Saturday, the trooper was on patrol in the area of the 1000-block of Rolphs Wharf Road, near Chestertown, Shipley said in a news release. The trooper stopped a suspicious vehicle in the area of the marina and called in a description of a 2001 Chevrolet truck.

Minutes later, the trooper called for backup. When units arrived, they found the trooper lying alongside the road and the truck was gone, police said.

Further investigation indicates the trooper approached the truck on the passenger side and contacted the driver and sole occupant, later identified as Coursey, police said. While talking with Coursey, the trooper saw what appeared to be a small amount of a suspected controlled dangerous substance in the center console, according to police.

When the trooper confronted Coursey about this, he accelerated away, with the trooper being dragged by the vehicle, according to investigators. The truck picked up speed as the trooper clung to the side. The trooper repeatedly told the driver to stop, but was ignored, police said.

In fear for his life, the trooper fired his weapon toward the suspect, Shipley reported. At some point the trooper became dislodged from the vehicle and fell where he was later found by backup troopers.

A lookout for the vehicle was broadcast and the truck was spotted by Queen Anne County Sheriff's Office deputies. A deputy reported the truck was driving through a field and eventually became stuck in a ditch. Deputies and troopers took the suspect into custody and found he had what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the middle torso. Troopers administered immediate emergency care and EMS units responded to the scene. He was flown by a Maryland State Police helicopter to Shock Trauma.

Investigators from the Maryland State Police Criminal Enforcement Division and crime scene technicians from the Forensic Sciences Division responded to the scene and assisted with the investigation. The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit responded and is leading the ongoing investigation, as is procedure in a trooper-involved shooting, Shipley said. Upon completion, the criminal investigation will be presented to the Queen Anne's County State's Attorney's Office for review.

Maryland State Police Internal Affairs Division investigators are also conducting an investigation. This investigation is standard procedure following a use of deadly force by a trooper, Shipley said.

Editor Angela Price contributed to this report.

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