At 12:05 p.m. Feb. 24, TFC D. Collins and TFC R. Lemerise of the LaPlata barrack were working traffic enforcement on MD Rt. 228 at Bunker Hill Road, when they observed a vehicle run the stop sign. During the attempt to stop the vehicle, the driver fled at a high rate of speed. TFC Lemerise and 1/Sgt. D. Truitt assisted in the pursuit.
The vehicle traveled eastbound on MD Rt. 228, made a right onto U.S. Rt. 301, and traveled through the parking lot of Eckerd Pharmacy.
The vehicle then traveled onto St. Patrick’s Drive where it struck a large electrical box at the intersection of St. Patrick’s Drive at Lancaster Circle. The electrical box erupted into flames.
The driver, Michael Avon Johnson, 33, of Waldorf, was arrested. A computer check revealed the tags displayed on the vehicle were reported stolen through Prince George’s County and Johnson was driving on a suspended license. The check also revealed Johnson was wanted on eight outstanding warrants through the Charles County Sheriff’s Office.
Further investigation revealed the vehicle he was operating was also stolen. Johnson was charged with theft under $100, malicious destruction of property and pending charges of theft over $100. He was cited with several traffic citations. Johnson was incarcerated in the Charles County Detention Center pending a bond review.
Traffic lights were out for approximately two hours and it is unknown how long the lights were out at the mall and surrounding area.