Records: Teen suspect said he ‘drove at’ Maryland officer
PERRY HALL, Md. – A 16-year-old boy charged in the death of a Maryland police officer told detectives he drove at her when she confronted him as he waited in a vehicle while others were burglarizing a home, according to court documents.
Baltimore County police Officer Amy Caprio was killed Monday afternoon while investigating a call about a suspicious vehicle in the Perry Hall community northeast of Baltimore, authorities said. Police have not confirmed how Caprio was fatally injured in a suburban neighborhood, but witnesses reported hearing a pop before seeing a Jeep run her over after a confrontation.
A probable cause statement dated Tuesday identified the suspect in her death as Dawnta Anthony Harris of Baltimore. He has been charged with first-degree murder.
Officials said three other teenagers had been taken into custody. Baltimore County’s public safety department tweeted Tuesday morning that the teenagers are suspects in area burglaries. The department did not say whether the three played any role in the officer’s death and have not released their identities.
The probable cause statement said a caller told police Monday that she saw a black Jeep near her residence and that three suspicious people got out and were walking around homes. Soon after, the caller advised that the subjects had broken into a home, the statement said.
Harris, who was arrested near where a Jeep was found abandoned, told a detective he had been waiting in the driver’s seat of the vehicle as his associates were committing a burglary, the statement said.
He tried to flee in the Jeep when he saw Caprio arrive on the block, but she followed him and ordered him out of the vehicle, the statement said. Harris told the detective that he “drove at the officer,” according to the statement.
Scott Shellenberger, the state’s attorney for Baltimore County, told The Associated Press the teen has been charged as an adult. The Associated Press does not ordinarily identify underage suspects unless they face adult charges.
Court records don’t list an attorney for Harris, and attempts to reach people believed to be his family members were not immediately successful. He was scheduled to appear before a judge at a Towson courthouse Tuesday afternoon.
Caprio, whose relatives could not immediately be reached by The Associated Press, won an “Officer of the Month” award for the Parkville precinct in December. Police said at the time that her investigation led to the identification and arrest of two suspects in numerous package thefts in eastern Baltimore County and neighboring jurisdictions.
The officer’s death stunned the quiet, residential neighborhood, said Baltimore County Councilman David Marks, who lives nearby.
“The community I represent stands united in grief for this fallen police officer, and our hope is that all those involved are brought to justice,” Marks said.
Resident Tony Kurek told The Associated Press his adult son was outside in the family’s yard Monday afternoon when the son saw the officer with her gun drawn, confronting someone in a Jeep.
“The next thing he heard was a pop, and he saw the Jeep take off and run right over her,” Kurek said. The car left skid marks, he said, and officer was on the ground bleeding.
Logan Kurek, who is a volunteer firefighter, said he heard his younger brother “frantically screaming” and ran outside to perform CPR on the officer.
Kurek’s neighbor, Dahle Amendt, said he had just settled into his recliner for a rest when he heard a woman’s voice outside his house in the leafy neighborhood of single-family homes.
“I heard, ‘Get out of the car! Get out of the car! Get out of the car!’ at least three times, and then a pop,” Amendt said.
Amendt said his wife also ran outside and tried to revive Caprio, who police say would have been on the force four years in July.
“I just hope the people they caught are found guilty of this,” Tony Kurek said. “It’s their fault she’s not around anymore – it’s nobody else’s fault.”
– Rankin reported from Richmond, Virginia. Associated Press writer Denise Lavoie in Richmond, Virginia, contributed to this report.