ELKTON — A man has been sentenced to 63 months in prison in a case in which he stood accused of stealing a Maryland State Police patrol car — after slipping out of his handcuffs at an Elkton accident scene — and of attempting to run over the trooper while fleeing.
Cecil County Circuit Court Judge Brenda A. Sexton imposed four sentences totaling five years and three months on the defendant, Tyree Shauntel Jordan, 33, of Elkton, during a hearing on Tuesday.
Jordan will serve his term in a Maryland Department of Corrections prison.
In July, after a two-day-long trial, jurors deliberated approximately one hour before finding Jordan guilty of 11 charges, including second-degree escape, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, driving while under the influence of alcohol and fleeing and eluding a uniformed law enforcement officer.
The jury, however, acquitted Jordan of two of the most serious charges, first-degree assault, a felony that carries a maximum 25-year sentence, and second-degree assault, which is a misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Many of Jordan’s convictions merged at sentencing earlier this week.
The judge imposed a three-year sentence on Jordan for second-degree escape. Sexton also imposed consecutive one-year sentences for driving while under the influence of alcohol and eluding a uniformed law enforcement officer. In addition, the judge imposed a consecutive three-month sentence for theft.
After the jury returned its guilty verdicts in July, Assistant State’s Attorney Nathaniel Bowen informed the judge that Jordan had been convicted in 2012 of fleeing and eluding police – also relating to a high-speed police chase — and that his criminal record also showed a resisting arrest conviction.
As for the incident resulting in Jordan’s sentencing on Tuesday, it started shortly before 3 p.m. Jan. 14, after troopers assigned to the North East Barrack responded to a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of East Pulaski Highway (U.S. Route 40) and Melbourne Boulevard.
Jordan was one of the drivers involved in that crash, which did not cause injuries, police noted.
Police said Jordan was driving a gray 2012 Mazda 3 in the eastbound lane of U.S. Route 40 when he ran a red light at the Melbourne Boulevard intersection.
At that time, a white Toyota Camry driven by Walter Samuel Chicosky, 79, of Elkton, had entered that intersection from southbound Melbourne Boulevard — where Chicosky had a green light — as he attempted to make a left turn onto eastbound U.S. Route 40, police added.
Jordan’s Mazda crashed into the passenger’s side of Chicosky’s Camry, as Jordan ran the red light, police reported.
MSP Trooper Curtis Henry testified at trial that he arrested Jordan on suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol, after Jordan had unsatisfactorily performed field-sobriety tests in the wake of the collision.
Henry told jurors that he handcuffed Jordan, with the suspect’s hands behind his back, and that he placed him in the front-passenger’s seat of his running MSP 2012 Chevrolet Caprice cruiser and then fastened the seatbelt — all according to agency protocol.
The trooper testified that, moments later, he was standing about 30 feet away from his parked patrol car while handing a tow truck driver the keys to Jordan’s inoperable vehicle, when he heard a revving engine. When he turned to investigate the sound, he saw Jordan — now in the driver’s seat of the MSP patrol car, his hands somehow free — speeding away from the scene, according to Henry.
After seeing Jordan make a left turn onto nearby Melbourne Boulevard and then a right into the Elkton Crossing shopping center, Henry chased on foot while another trooper who had been at the crash scene pursued the suspect in his police cruiser, Henry testified.
Jordan drove behind the Food Lion there and, after he reappeared in front of that grocery store, Henry attempted to block the stolen MSP patrol car with his body. Henry demonstrated his tactic to the jury at trial, after testifying that he held his drawn agency-issued handgun at his side with his right hand while holding his left arm up and repeatedly ordering, “Stop.”
“He proceeded directly at me at a high rate of speed. He came within 10 feet of striking me and I jumped (out of the way),” Henry testified, after estimating that Jordan was 150 feet away when he started driving at him.
Moments later, Jordan struck a Singerly Volunteer Fire Co. of Elkton fire engine that had been dispatched for the initial crash, before speeding away eastward from the scene.
Jordan’s defense lawyer, C. Thomas Brown, maintained in his closing argument at trial that his client wasn’t trying to assault the trooper with that stolen car but, instead, was desperately trying to get away. The jury acquitted Jordan of an assault charge relating to that part of the incident.
MSP troopers in agency vehicles chased Jordan eastbound on U.S. Route 40 into Delaware, where he lost control of the stolen patrol car on Glasgow Avenue, near the People’s Plaza shopping center, and crashed into a tree, police said, adding that authorities arrested Jordan there. Jordan had driven the stolen patrol car less than 5 miles, before crashing into the tree, MSP officials noted shortly after the incident.