Bail reduction in Glen Rock cop-dragging case
The second of three Maryland residents accused of dragging a Southern Regional police officer about 125 feet with their car has succeeded in getting his bail reduced.
David Achstetter, 36, of Gaithersburg, had his bail reduced from $250,000 to $50,000 during a bail hearing Tuesday, defense attorney Joe Gothie confirmed.
Gothie said he expects no trouble from Achstetter, assuming the man can post bail and be released. Gothie — who had requested a bail amount of $25,000 — said he's not sure his client can can make bail.
Senior deputy prosecutor Jonathan Blake said the prosecution opposed the bail reduction.
"Given the fact that the offense involved fleeing from police and that a police officer was seriously injured, I thought bail was appropriate as set," Blake said.
If Achstetter is released, he will be on supervised bail, meaning probation officers will monitor him closely, Blake said. Achstetter would also have to wear a GPS-monitoring ankle cuff and submit to random drug testing, the prosecutor said.
Co-defendant Roberto Tabares Jr., 38, of Rockville, had his bail reduced March 1 from $500,000 to $50,000, according to court records.
Despite that, Tabares remains in York County Prison because authorities in Montgomery County, Maryland, have filed a detainer on him in a burglary case there, according to prison records.
The third co-defendant, Jenny Kim, 38, of Germantown, remains in York County Prison on $250,000 bail, and so far she has not requested a bail reduction, according to court records.
The background: Officer Michael Storeman suffered bumps, bruises and injuries to his hips, legs and ankle during the Nov. 4 incident in Glen Rock. He was 40 years old at the time, Chief James Boddington has said. He returned to work at the end of December, Blake has said.
Storeman was called to the CS Convenience Store at the corner of Main and Water streets shortly before 5 p.m. Nov. 4 for a report of a suspicious vehicle in the lot, police said.
Charging documents indicate when Storeman approached the Toyota Camry he saw Kim in the back seat injecting herself in the arm using a syringe he believed contained heroin.
The Camry's front passenger window was down, so Storeman tried to open that door, but Achstetter grabbed Storeman's arm and held on, effectively pinning Storeman against the car, documents allege.
That's when Tabares, who was behind the wheel, took off, speeding south on Water Street and dragging Storeman, who was repeatedly yelling at them to stop, according to police.
Tabares drove into the opposing lane and went around two vehicles stopped for the stop sign at Water and Hanover streets, at which point Storeman's body struck the driver's side of one of the stopped vehicles, documents state.
It was shortly after hitting the vehicle that Storeman either broke free of Achstetter or Achstetter released him, charging documents state.
The officer fell onto the road and rolled another 50 feet or so, police said.
The Camry kept going, but police later tracked down both it and its occupants through the car's license plate number, documents state.
"I think this is the worst injury I've seen to one of my officers," Boddington has said. "This could have ended up much worse."
Charges against Achstetter and Tabares include aggravated assault, hindering the apprehension of a suspect and reckless endangerment. Kim is charged with conspiracy to commit those offenses. Achstetter also is charged with unlawful restraint, and Tabares is charged with fleeing from police.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com.