Glen Rock cop-dragger gets more prison time
- Officer Michael Storeman didn't return to full duty until about a month ago, he said in court.
A Maryland man must serve about another year in prison for his role in the 2015 vehicle-dragging of a Southern Regional police officer.
Officer Michael Storeman was 40 at the time. He returned to work about two months after suffering injuries from being dragged for about 125 feet, Southern Regional Police Chief James Boddington has said.
But because of his injuries, Storeman was on light duty for more than a year and only returned to full duty about a month ago, according to senior deputy prosecutor Jonathan Blake.
Roberto Tabares Jr., 39, of Rockville, was sentenced Wednesday to 11½ to 23 months in York County Prison plus two years of probation.
He has been held in York County Prison since Nov. 18, 2015, but his plea agreement required him to forfeit all of his credit time for the roughly 18 months he has already served.
Basically, that means Tabares will have spent about 30 months in prison when he's released. And Blake said once that happens, Tabares will be shipped back to Maryland, where a criminal detainer has been lodged against him.
Storeman was in court Wednesday for the sentencing, and told presiding Common Pleas Judge Harry M. Ness that Tabares' actions "caused severe hardship" to the officer and his family. Ness called Storeman's physical injuries life-changing and said he and his family have been emotionally harmed as well.
"The last year and a half has been really difficult, and we continue to struggle every day," Storeman said in court. "We have been on an emotional roller coaster because we did not know if I would be able to return to work and whether my physical injuries would heal. I was just able to return to work full duty less than a month ago, but I still experience problems with my arm and leg."
The background: Tabares pleaded guilty in May to aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.
His defense attorney, Tom Kelley, has said Tabares had to consider the likelihood that, if convicted, he was facing "fairly substantial" state prison time.
Tabares' co-defendants, Maryland residents 38-year-old David Achstetter, of Gaithersburg, and Jenny Kim, 39, of Germantown, are facing trial in September, Blake confirmed. They remain free on bail.
Storeman suffered injuries to his hand, hips, legs and ankle during the Nov. 4, 2015, incident in Glen Rock.
Storeman was called to the CS Convenience Store at the corner of Main and Water streets shortly before 5 p.m. for a report of a suspicious vehicle in the lot, police said.
Heroin syringe? Court documents state that when Storeman approached the Toyota Camry, he saw Kim in the back seat injecting herself in the arm using a syringe he believed to contain 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.
Cop hit parked car: 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.
The Camry kept going, but police later tracked down it and its occupants through the car's license plate number, documents state.
'My rock': In his court statement, Storeman described his wife as being "my rock," having watched him struggle daily "as I feared losing my career and potentially losing my ability to support my family financially."
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.