Four Maryland teens arrested following stolen vehicle chase through Sussex

BRIDGEVILLE – A stolen motor vehicle chase through Sussex County involving Delaware State Police, local police departments and Delaware Fish & Wildlife police Sunday morning ended with the apprehension and arrest of four Maryland teens.

Around 6:30 a.m., July 14, Delaware authorities were informed Maryland State Police were in pursuit of a stolen blue Honda Civic that had fled into Delaware, according to Delaware State Police spokeswoman Master Cpl. Melissa Jaffe.

Wilfredo Rodriguez

The vehicle was located northbound on Dupont Boulevard in the area of Patriots Way.  An attempt was made to stop the vehicle, but it continued to be driven in a reckless manner to flee from police. When the Honda stopped on Sussex Highway and Cider Lane, a passenger got out and took off on foot, Cpl. Jaffe said. 

Mario Ponce

Authorities located the passenger, identified as 16-year-old Justin I. Cooper of Clinton, Maryland, when he struck a Bridgeville K-9 attempting to resist being taken into custody.  Cooper was subsequently apprehended, Cpl. Jaffe said.

The vehicle fled and was later located unoccupied on Walnut Street in Bridgeville. A concerned citizen had reported seeing occupants flee from the vehicle and enter a detached shed on a property. 

Troopers located three subjects hiding in the shed and took them into custody without incident, Cpl. Jaffe said. 

The three suspects were identified as the driver, 16-year-old Mario Ponce of Lenham, Maryland; 16-year-old Jennifer A. LLamas of Lenham, Maryland; and 19-year-old Wilfredo N. Rodriguez of College Park, Maryland. 

Millsboro Police Department, Bridgeville Police Department and Georgetown Police Department assisted in this incident.

All suspects were transported to Troop 5 and charged as follows:

Justin Cooper

Justin Cooper: Resisting Arrest, Assault Second Degree on Law Enforcement Animal. Cooper was arraigned before the Justice of the Peace Court and committed to the Vision Quest Center on $1,500 secured bond.

Mario Ponce: Burglary Third Degree, Receiving Stolen Property, Resisting Arrest, Conspiracy Second Degree, Reckless Driving, Failure to Stop (Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police charge). Ponce was arraigned before the Justice of the Peace Court and committed to the Vision Quest Center on $2,600 secured bond.

Jennifer LLamas

Jennifer LLamas: Burglary Third, Resisting Arrest, Conspiracy Second Degree. Llamas was arraigned before the Justice of the Peace Court and released on her own recognizance.

Wilfredo N. Rodriguez: Burglary Third Degree, Resisting Arrest, Conspiracy Second Degree. Rodriguez was arraigned before the Justice of the Peace Court and committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution $3,000 secured bond.

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com

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