Maryland man arrested after leading police on lengthy chase

DOVER — A 64-year-old Maryland man led police on a long-running chase early Sunday while allegedly driving drunk, leading to 19 charges against him, according to authorities in court documents.

Stephen E. Lucas

Stephen E. Lucas

Stephen E. Lucas, of the 100 block of Everett Lane in Church Hill, was Tasered twice after he allegedly refused to comply with officers’ orders after his vehicle was stopped in west Dover; the vehicle was first seen by a trooper on U.S. 13 in Camden at approximately 3:07 a.m., the Delaware State Police said in affidavit of probable cause.

According to police in papers, the alleged pursuit began south of U.S. 13’s intersection with Lochmeath Way, traveled south to Felton, then west to the Maryland state line and then east toward Dover where the vehicle’s two front tires were flattened by stop sticks.

On the flattened tires, the vehicle allegedly continued through two stop lights on Del. 8 and then turned onto Independence Boulevard and South Farmview Drive before being pinned in by a curb and patrol car, police said in papers.

Initially, a Silver Ford Fusion was allegedly seen by a trooper failing to maintain a travel lane approximately five times before an attempted stop was made at the intersection of U.S. 13 and Walnut Shade Road, police said.

Emergency lights were activated, police said in papers, and the vehicle allegedly continued southbound; at one point a trooper pulled his patrol car to the vehicle’s side in an attempt to signal the driver over and obtain a description of him, according to authorities.

The chase continued with a west turn on Del. 12 through Felton, police alleged, with the vehicle in front swaying from the shoulder to the center line while reaching a speed of approximately 70 mph in a 50 mph zone.

Maryland police joined the pursuit when the vehicle crossed the state line, authorities said, and the chase eventually turned eastward back into Delaware through Marydel on Del. 8, traveling 70 mph at some point.

At one point, police alleged, the vehicle struck a fully marked Caroline County (Md.) Sheriff’s patrol car to pass by.

The Dover Police Department was notified that the pursuit was headed toward the city, and stop sticks were dropped on Del. 8 near Dover High, authorities claimed; a police report noted there was no other traffic on the road at the time.

Once the chase ended, police said in documents, the driver allegedly refused to take the vehicle out of gear and exit, while refusing to unlock the doors.

Subsequently, officers shattered the vehicle’s side windows to enter the vehicle and take it out of gear, along with removing the driver, according to papers.

Police alleged in papers that the driver had to be physically removed from the vehicle and then refused several commands to place his hands behind his back.

Authorities alleged in documents that a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage was detected from the driver’s breath upon apprehension, and he did not pass alphabet and counting sobriety screening tests. Also, police alleged, the driver failed a breath test.

Due to injuries — not disclosed in court papers — suffered during the alleged resisting arrest, police said physical sobriety tests were not given.

Mr. Lucas, presumed innocent unless proven guilty, was charged with felony disregarding a police officer signal, misdemeanor DUI alcohol, aggressive driving, and failure to have minimum insurance on an out of state vehicle.

Alleged traffic violations included failed to remain in a single lane (three counts), speeding (seven counts), failure to stop at a red light (three counts), failure to stop at a stop sign, and a no passing zone offense.

Mr. Lucas was arraigned at JP Court 7 and given a $3,050 secured bail. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Friday in the Kent County Court of Common Pleas.

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