Back-to-back vehicle chases in Dover end with arrests

DOVER — City police said vehicle pursuits are uncommon and only occur a few times a year.

So this week’s pair of significant chases within hours of each other proved quite unusual.

As a Dover Police Department K-9 officer was handling a report and warrant regarding an incident involving 48 charges on Tuesday morning, a second call arrived about an ongoing, unrelated pursuit that eventually led to 50 charges, police said.

The K9 officer first arrested a 31-year-old Viola man who was charged with felony third offense DUI. The officer was still on the case when he responded to a chase report in which a 38-year-old Millville, N.J., man was stopped after an approximate 20-minute pursuit, spokesman Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman said.

The K9 made an apprehension in the second incident as well. Police arrested Omar Davis after he left a vehicle on foot after crashing into another vehicle, police said.

Dover police said multiple officers were involved in the second chase that concluded on U.S. 13 near the Camden Lowe’s and Diamond Motorsports. Delaware State Police troopers and Camden Police Department officers arrived to provide assistance in directing traffic and preserving the scene.

Police said Mr. Davis allegedly was driving a vehicle that rear-ended a minivan driven by a Dover woman; she was

Jerry N. Hobbs

Jerry N. Hobbs

taken to Bayhealth-Kent General Hospital in Dover, treated and released, police said.

“Major vehicle accidents are a great concern in (long-running, high speed pursuits),” Cpl. Hoffman said in general terms.

“Whether the suspect strikes an innocent bystander or an officer is involved in a crash, they present some risk, for sure. Our policy is very strict and considers all of these factors in determining when or when not to pursue a suspect.”

In the first case, Jerry N. Hobbs, of the 3200 block of Turkey Point Road, also was charged with felony tampering with physical evidence, police signal and second-degree conspiracy. Misdemeanor counts included reckless driving, possession of a controlled substance with aggravating factor, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Mr. Hobbs also is facing 40 traffic-related violations, including failure to stop at stop sign, unsafe speed and failure to signal, among others.

The second incident

Police alleged the second incident started at approximately 8:45 a.m. in west Dover when Mr. Davis fled from an officer during a domestic related “welfare check” at a residence in the 200 block of East Sheldrake Circle in the Cannon Mills community.

According to authorities, the officer had attempted to contact Mr. Davis after first speaking with a female.

A foot chase began, police said, and proceeded to a construction area next to Dover High. Police said Mr. Davis allegedly drove away in a 2011 Ford F-250 truck belonging to Dixie Construction.

As the truck departed, police said, it struck a parked construction vehicle. The vehicle turned east onto Forrest Avenue, police said, and another officer joined the chase and unsuccessfully tried to make a traffic stop.

Several times, police alleged, the truck moved into the oncoming lane while driving around traffic and through traffic signals.

The Ford F-250 eventually turned onto southbound U.S. 13, police said, and continued to Bay Road. A U-turn followed in the area of Miller Drive, and the truck went through a grass median and onto U.S. 13 north near College Road.

Another U-turn over the grass median left the Ford F-250 traveling southbound on U.S. 13, police said.

Another vehicle was struck by the truck in the area of Lakeview Drive and U.S. 13, driving into oncoming traffic, police said.

The chase shifted through several neighborhood streets and back onto U.S. 13 southbound to the Camden town limits. At that point, police said, the truck allegedly crashed into a mini-van and an apprehension was subsequently made.

Wanted on charges

After Mr. Davis was taken into custody, police said they found that he was wanted by the Cumberland County (N.J.) Sheriff’s Office for failure to appear on an eluding police charge.

Authorities alleged that 44.9 grams of marijuana was located in the residence where Mr. Davis was staying.

The defendant was treated at Bayhealth-Kent General Hospital in Dover for wounds suffered in the K9 apprehension, police said, and Mr. Davis allegedly damaged a hospital room window.

Charges against Mr. Davis included theft of a motor vehicle, disregard police officer signal, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, second-degree reckless endangering (two counts), second-degree vehicular assault, criminal mischief (four counts), resisting arrest, and fugitive from another state.

A total of 37 traffic charges were also filed.

Mr. Davis was held at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna in lieu of $18,350 secured bond.

In general terms, Cpl. Hoffman said other law enforcement agencies are notified when a pursuit’s path becomes clear, and Kent County Dispatchers on the Dover PD radio channel as well.

“Typically, radio communication is between our dispatch center and the officers involved in the chase,” Cpl. Hoffman said.

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