PSP: 2 charged after car accelerated at York City cop

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

A convicted drug dealer who allegedly drove a car directly at a York City police officer has been criminally charged, as was his front-seat passenger — who also is a convicted drug dealer, according to charging documents.

Police found two guns, suspected drugs, drug-dealing paraphernalia and $560 cash inside the car, charging documents state.

Anthony Gilbert-Brown

One of the handguns had been reported stolen, police said, and the other had a round in the chamber.

According to court records, Anthony Ray Gilbert-Brown, 23, of the 500 block of Thomas Street, is charged with aggravated assault, being a felon in illegal firearm possession, drug possession with intent to deliver, carrying a firearm without a license, reckless endangerment, fleeing or attempting to elude police, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving without a license.

According to state police, Gilbert-Brown drove a white Chevrolet Cruz directly at York City Police Officer Bradley Engle about 10:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Smith Street.

Engle was in the area investigating after a stolen vehicle crashed there, and he had blocked the intersection with his cruiser because the area was a crime scene, according to state police. Engle had the lights on his cruiser activated, troopers said.

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'Accelerated' at cop: Charging documents state Gilbert-Brown tried to drive through the intersection anyway, but Engle got out of his cruiser and told him to stop, documents state.

Instead, Gilbert-Brown "accelerated" directly at the officer, prompting Engle to fire his handgun at the car, according to charging documents.

At that point, Gilbert-Brown backed up and crashed into a light pole, police said. No one was injured by the gunfire, police have said.

After backup arrived, Gilbert-Brown and his passenger, Vincent R. DeShields Jr., were removed from the car and arrested, documents state.

Vincent DeShields Jr.

DeShields, 27, of the 800 block of Madison Avenue, is charged with drug possession with intent to deliver, being a felon in illegal firearm possession and receiving stolen property, according to court records.

Seized: Police searched the car and seized "numerous" small glassine bags, the $560 cash, a loaded Glock .40-caliber pistol in the car's center cup holder, a digital scale, three bags containing "a white chalky substance" and a small bag of pot, charging documents state.

Also seized was a Hi-Point Arms 9 mm semi-automatic handgun that had been reported stolen to state police in Gettysburg, police said. That gun was found between the front passenger seat and the side door, documents state.

Both men are felons who previously pleaded guilty to dealing drugs, according to charging documents.

Police said Gilbert-Brown's Pennsylvania driver's license is suspended until December 2020.

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Paid leave: Interim York City Police Chief Troy Bankert said Engle has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure when officers discharge their firearms.

State police were asked by city police to conduct an independent investigation into the incident.

In York County, it's routine for state police to investigate when a municipal officer fires his or her service weapon.

Bankert said York City Police is conducting an internal review of the incident as well.

Gilbert-Brown and DeShields were arraigned Tuesday night at the York County Central Booking Unit.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.