Per the State of Maryland: Governor Wes Moore today proclaimed May 5, 2023, as Fallen Heroes Day in Maryland. To honor the service and sacrifice of Maryland first responders, the governor ordered that the Maryland state flag be lowered to half-staff until sunset.
“Our fallen heroes lived lives of action. Their deeds speak louder than any words we could share today. Now, it is up to us to honor them with actions of our own,” said Gov. Moore. “To live how they lived: fearlessly – courageously – decisively. To carry forward the torch of service we’ve been given by our fallen heroes – though in their hands, the light was always brighter; to lift one another up, on our own shoulders – though theirs were always broader; to honor their heroism with daring of our own.”
Fallen Heroes Day, which is held each year on the first Friday in May, is an opportunity for the public to show their appreciation for those who risk their lives every day to protect the citizens of Maryland. The event honors Maryland police, firefighters, and emergency medical and rescue personnel who died in the line of duty. Governor Moore delivered remarks at the 38th Annual Fallen Heroes Day Observance at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens. Each year, the ceremony recognizes one firefighter and one police officer who died in the line of duty before Fallen Heroes Day was established.
This year honors:
Lt. John T. Killian, Jr., a 26-year veteran of the Baltimore City Fire Department. Lt. Killian, age 51, died on March 10, 1985, when the floor collapsed as he was battling a rowhouse fire on Hudson Street.
Lt. Colonel Harry L. George, a 25-year veteran of the Maryland Natural Resources Police. Lt. Colonel George, age 54, died on October 24, 1978, from injuries sustained two months earlier when a Maryland Department of Natural Resources plane crashed near Edgewater, Maryland.
Since 1986, 222 Fallen Heroes have been honored during the annual ceremony. All Marylanders join in honoring the brave men and women who lost their lives in the line of duty.
Per the Maryland State Police: Maryland State Police are reminding motorists to drive responsibly ahead of Cinco de Mayo weekend. In anticipation of an increase in impaired drivers this weekend, beginning with Cinco de Mayo on Friday, all 23 barracks across Maryland will ramp up enforcement efforts to combat impaired, distracted and aggressive driving. Troopers at each barrack, along with members of the State Police SPIDRE (State Police Impaired Driving Reduction Effort) Team will conduct statewide DUI saturation patrols and high-visibility enforcement, which are designed to create deterrence and change unlawful driving behaviors.
A portion of the costs associated with the increased enforcement efforts will be paid through impaired driving saturation funds provided by the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office. Since its inception in 2013, the SPIDRE DUI Team has recorded more than 4,200 DUI arrests and issued more than 30,000 citations.
Among the planned initiatives:
- The Waterloo Barrack will conduct high visibility and saturation patrols along designated hot spots on I-70 and I-95 in Howard County.
- The Bel Air Barrack will focus its enforcement efforts along Routes 1, 24, 40, and 155 in Harford County.
- The Salisbury Barrack will focus on traffic enforcement along Routes 50 and 13 corridors in Wicomico County.
- The Rockville Barrack in Montgomery County will concentrate its efforts on I-495 and surrounding areas.
- The Golden Ring Barrack will focus on I-695, including in and around work zones in Baltimore County.
- The McHenry Barrack will focus its efforts on I-68 and Route 219 in Garrett County.
- The Centreville Barrack will conduct safety enforcement operations for DUI and traffic violations on Routes 301, 20 and 50 on the Eastern Shore.
Impaired driving is a leading cause of motor-vehicle crashes and fatalities in Maryland, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation. Over the past five years, nearly 800 people have been killed in crashes involving an impaired driver, and such deaths account for about a third of all roadway fatalities in Maryland. From 2017-2021, an average of 169 lives were lost and 3,000 more people were injured annually because of impaired driving crashes in Maryland. All of these deaths and injuries were preventable.
Are you planning to celebrate Cinco de Mayo?
- Designate a sober driver in advance and give that person your car keys.
- If you plan on driving, avoid drinking alcohol.
- Consider using public transportation, a taxi, or a ride-sharing service if there is no sober driver.
- Call the police if you see an impaired driver.
- Do not text while driving or drive distracted. Use a hands-free cell phone.
- If you are hosting a Cinco de Mayo gathering, you can be held liable if someone you served alcohol to ends up in an impaired driving crash.
- Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages.
- Have contact information for taxis or ride-sharing options available.
- Take away the keys from someone who is thinking of driving impaired.
Per the Maryland State Police: Maryland State Police are investigating an attempted kidnapping that allegedly occurred early this evening in Frederick County. The victim is a 16-year-old girl. She was uninjured in the incident. The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 50 years old with a pale complexion and a possible speech impediment. He is 5’7”- 5’9” with a medium to heavy frame. He is bald with brown eyes, a mustache and a mole on the right side of his face. He was driving a small black vehicle, possibly a minivan, at the time of the alleged incident.
At 5:15 p.m. today, the Maryland State Police Frederick Barrack received a 9-1-1 call from a citizen with the report of an attempted kidnapping. The citizen was later identified as the victim’s mother.
The victim and her mother advised police that at 4:30 p.m. today, she was walking along Knoxville Road in Brunswick when a small black vehicle stopped. The driver of the vehicle asked if she wanted a ride home. For reasons unknown at this time, the girl accepted the ride. Upon entering the vehicle, the man allegedly made sexually explicit comments and attempted to lock the doors of the vehicle. The young girl told police she exited the van and ran home. The driver continued to drive towards Brunswick.
Investigators urge anyone with information relevant to this incident to contact the Maryland State Police Frederick Barrack at 301-600-4150. The investigation continues…
Per the Maryland State Police: A Maryland State Police helicopter helped rescue an elderly man after he became lost and hurt late Thursday morning. The 82-year-old man was found in a ravine of a densely forested area north of the Cheat River shortly before 11 a.m. He disappeared the day before from the Erwin community of Preston County, nearly eight miles from the Maryland-West Virginia line. Rescuers from the Preston County Sheriff’s Office, Rowlesburg Volunteer Fire Department and the Mountaineer Area Rescue Group were in their 14th hour of searching for the elderly man when he was located. They called for a Maryland State Police Aviation Command helicopter for an aerial rescue due to the steep terrain and access into the forest.
The crew from Trooper 5, based out of the Cumberland Section, was requested for an aerial hoist mission due to the man’s location, the surrounding topography, an extended extrication time and the nature of his injuries. West Virginia rescue personnel initiated patient care and stabilized the man. Once overhead, the pilots on Trooper 5 hovered the AgustaWestland AW-139 helicopter nearly 215 feet above the dense tree cover, while a Trooper/Paramedic was lowered below. The Trooper/Paramedic, with assistance from West Virginia rescuers, secured the injured man in a Patient Extrication Platform, commonly called a “PEP bag.”
The Trooper/Paramedic and injured individual were hoisted into the aircraft, at which time Trooper 5 transitioned into a medevac role and flew the elderly man to J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia for treatment. The Maryland State Police Aviation Command has served Maryland citizens since 1970 and operates a fleet of 10 AW139 helicopters from seven bases throughout the State. Each aircraft provides coverage 24/7/365 to Maryland residents and visitors. The MSPAC missions include medevac, law enforcement, search and rescue, homeland security, and disaster assessment. The success of the missions relies heavily on the cooperative efforts of local fire, rescue, EMS, law enforcement agencies, and our partners at the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Park Police.
Per the Maryland State Police: A Maryland State Police helicopter was called to rescue a hiker and his dog after they became stranded on a cliff above the Shenandoah River late Sunday night. Maryland State Police Aviation Command’s Trooper 3, based in Frederick, MD, was summoned to a densely-wooded, mountainous area of the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park around 10 p.m. The 27-year-old hiker and his dog “Angel” had been exploring the area along the Loudon Heights Trail, across the river and south of Historic Harpers Ferry Lower Town, when he became lost and unable to access the main trail.
Rescuers from Jefferson County, WV were called to the area of William L. Wilson Freeway (US340) and Chestnut Hill Road (WV32). They were able to speak with the hiker via cellular telephone and could see his headlamp on the cliffs above. However, due to the steep and treacherous terrain, they were unable to safely reach him. Due to the hiker’s precarious position, Jefferson County rescuers called the Maryland State Police to assist with extrication.
Once overhead, the pilots on Trooper 3 hovered the Agusta Westland AW-139 helicopter nearly 150 feet above, while a Trooper/Rescue Technician was lowered into a very small and challenging opening in a heavily wooded, steep, and rocky area. The Trooper/Rescue Technician made contact with the hiker and determined he did not require any medical care. A rescue basket was then lowered to the waiting Trooper/Rescue Technician and victim. The Trooper/Rescue Technician assisted the hiker and his dog into a rescue basket. They were hoisted onto the hovering aircraft. Once the hiker and his dog were secured into the cabin of the AW-139 by the Trooper/Crew Chief, the Trooper/Rescue Technician was hoisted onto the aircraft.
The uninjured hiker and his dog were flown to the helipad at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Advanced Training Facility near Harpers Ferry, where a waiting ambulance crew evaluated the hiker and coordinated arrangements for a friend to pick him up.
The MSPAC has served Maryland citizens since 1970 and operates a fleet of 10 AW139 helicopters from seven bases throughout the State. Each aircraft provides round-the-clock coverage to Maryland residents and visitors. The agency’s missions include medevac, law enforcement, search and rescue, homeland security, and disaster assessment. The success of the missions relies heavily on the cooperative efforts of local fire, rescue, EMS, law enforcement agencies, and our partners at the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Park Police.
Montgomery County Police and Gaithersburg Police responded to an incident Friday night at Rio in Gaithersburg. According to Gaithersburg Police, “Tonight at approx. 7:23 p.m., officers from Gaithersburg Police and Montgomery County Police responded to the unit block of Grand Corner Ave for the report of a stabbing that just occurred. Officers located a juvenile female victim. The victim was transported to an area hospital with superficial injuries.” We will post an update when additional information is available.
Tonight at approx. 7:23 p.m., ofcs from @GPDNews & @mcpnews responded to the unit blk of Grand Corner Ave for the report of a stabbing that just occurred. Ofcs located a juvenile female victim. The victim was transported to an area hospital with superficial injuries. pic.twitter.com/cFhBeozXzh
— Gaithersburg Police (@GPDNews) April 1, 2023
Per the Maryland State Police: With April being National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the Maryland State Police are reminding motorists just how dangerous it can be on the road if you are not paying attention to your surroundings. According to the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s (MDOT MVA) Highway Safety Office, more than 24,000 people are injured and 200 others die each year on Maryland roads as a result of distracted driving. Distracted driving contributes to 48 percent of all crashes in Maryland. Each of these injuries and deaths were preventable.
In the first three months of 2023, Maryland State Police troopers have issued a total of 4,352 citations and warnings for distracted driving violations. Last year, troopers issued 21,757 citations and warnings for distracted driving violations of which, 4,199 were drivers who were caught using their handheld phone while their vehicle was in motion. Troopers across Maryland are increasing their distracted driving enforcement patrols and awareness efforts this month. Troopers will be working collaboratively with allied law enforcement agencies to stop motorists who are driving distracted. Seat belt enforcement will be also be a priority.
Any time drivers take their eyes off the road to use a phone, eat, put on make-up or change the radio station, they are driving blind. Looking down at a phone to read a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of five seconds – at 55 mph, that is equivalent to driving the length of three football fields – all without looking. Maryland law prohibits the use of a handheld cellphone and texting while driving. First-time offenders caught using a cellphone while driving face a maximum of an $83 fine, second-time offenders a maximum of $140 fine and third-time offenders a maximum of $160 fine.
Writing, sending or reading a text or electronic message while driving can result in a $70 fine and one point on their driving record. If the use of a device contributes to a crash, serious injury or death, these penalties increase.
MDOT MVA and AAA Mid-Atlantic have offered some tips to help motorists avoid driving distracted:
- Serve as an example for your family and friends by avoiding distractions while driving.
- Pull away from travel lanes and park in a safe location if you need to send a text message – never stop on the side of the highway.
- Designate a passenger to respond to any messages while you are behind the wheel.
- Remember the Move Over Law. When approaching any stopped, standing or parked vehicle displaying warning signals, move over if it is safe to do so or slow down when passing.
- Save social media for later. Do not use your phone to scroll or engage in social media while driving.
- If you need to eat or drink while on a trip, pull over in a safe area and enjoy your food before getting back behind the wheel.
- If tempted to use your phone while driving, place the phone in the trunk, glove box or back seat.
- Speak up. If your friends or family members use their phones while driving, ask them to stop.
Combatting distracted driving in the state is a pillar to Maryland’s Toward Zero campaign. For more information, visit https://zerodeathsmd.gov/.
Per the Maryland State Police: With St. Patrick’s Day coming up on Friday, Maryland State Police are urging those who plan to celebrate with alcohol to drink responsibly and avoid impaired, distracted and aggressive driving. With an expected increase of impaired drivers throughout the state this week, troopers at all 23 Maryland State Police barracks will conduct saturation patrols, focusing on impaired, distracted and aggressive driving. A portion of the costs associated with the increased enforcement efforts will be paid through impaired driving saturation funds provided by the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office.
The initiatives, which will take place on various days, beginning Wednesday, March 15 through Sunday, March 19, include saturation patrols in areas known to have a higher number of DUI crashes or arrests. These efforts, in many cases, will include partnering with allied law enforcement and other state agencies to enforce the law and offer outreach to the community through social media and electronic billboards.
Among those initiatives:
- Troopers from the Cumberland Barrack will be conducting DUI saturation patrol on Route 40 and I-68 in Allegany County with an emphasis on previously identified high crash and impaired driving areas.
- Troopers from the Bel Air, JFK and North East barracks, will be conducting joint DUI saturation patrols in key areas throughout Cecil, Harford, and Baltimore counties.
- Troopers from the Annapolis Barrack will focus DUI enforcement efforts on Route 50 and I-97 in Anne Arundel County.
- Troopers from the Westminster Barrack will focus DUI enforcement efforts on feeder routes from Baltimore County into Carroll County, including Route 140, Route 26, Route 30, and Route 91.
- The Leonardtown Barrack will be conducting a combined traffic initiative with the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, with high visibility enforcement on state routes.
- The Princess Anne Barrack will be working with allied agencies throughout the lower Eastern Shore as part of the area’s “Border to Border” initiative.
According to the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office, between 2017 and 2021, an average of 169 people died and 2,998 were injured annually as a result of impaired driving crashes in the state. Those deaths and injuries were preventable.
If you are attending a St. Patrick’s Day gathering:
- Designate your sober driver before going out and give that person your car keys
- If you’re planning to drive, avoid drinking
- Consider using public transportation, call a taxi or use a ride-share service IF you don’t have a sober driver
- Do not let a friend drive if you think that they are impaired
- If you see someone who you believe is driving impaired, call police
- Always buckle up
- Do not text, use a cellphone that is not hands-free or drive distracted
If you are hosting a St. Patrick’s Day gathering:
- Remember, you can be held liable if someone you served alcohol to ends up in an impaired-driving crash
- Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages
- Ensure sober drivers or alternative modes of transportation are set up in advance for guests who are planning to drink alcoholic beverages
- Have contact information for local taxi companies readily available
- Take away the keys from anyone who is thinking of driving impaired
Always remember, if you’re going out tonight, so are we. Don’t push your luck this St. Patrick’s Day. Make a plan and be the driver who saves lives.
Police responded to reports of shots fired on Tuesday afternoon in Gaithersburg. According to Gaithersburg Police, “On Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at approximately 2:47 p.m., officers from the Gaithersburg Police Department, Montgomery County Police – 6th District and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 500 block of S. Frederick Avenue for the report of shooting that just occurred. Preliminary investigation revealed that a group of unknown individuals were at the pavilion located to the rear of the Water Park when a shooting occurred. At this time, there are no victims of a shooting and there is no suspect information. This remains an active and ongoing investigation.”
Gaithersburg High School was briefly placed under a shelter-in-place around 3pm (the incident occurred after school had been dismissed and the majority of students had already left.) Earlier on Tuesday, five schools in Montgomery Village were placed in a shelter-in-place after Montgomery County Police responded to the 9900 block of Lake Landing Rd. in Montgomery Village around 12:30pm and located two males that were suffering from non-life threatening gunshot wounds. A suspect in connection to the Montgomery Village shooting is currently in custody.
Investigators ask that anyone with information about the Bohrer Park shooting contact the Gaithersburg Police – Investigative Section at 301-258-6400. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call the Gaithersburg Tip Line at 301-330-4471.
Per the Maryland State Police: The Maryland Vehicle Theft Prevention Council is urging motorists who own certain makes and models of Hyundai and Kia cars to reach out to the automakers for a free security software update following a nationwide surge in thefts that led to at least 14 crashes and eight fatalities.
The theft deterrent software is designed for millions of Hyundai and Kia vehicles that lack an immobilizer. The upgrade is available free of charge to vehicle owners. As part of the software update, the theft alarm software logic will extend the length of the alarm sound from 30 seconds to one minute and now requires the key to be in the ignition switch to turn the vehicle on.
The software upgrades were announced following a viral TikTok social media challenge which showed viewers how to hotwire the vehicles. About 3.8 million Hyundais and 4.5 million Kias are eligible for the update, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
To see if your vehicle is eligible for the free updates, contact Hyundai at 1-800-633-5151 or Kia at 1-800-333-4542. Hyundai, which launched its service campaign last month, is first offering a software upgrade to car owners with the following vehicle models:
- 2017 – 2020 Elantra
- 2015 – 2019 Sonata
- 2020 – 2021 Venue
According to the NHTSA, Hyundai will send customers a window sticker alerting would-be thieves that the vehicle is equipped with anti-theft protection. Hyundai will send out the stickers and roll out software updates in a phased approach, with subsequent phases over the next several months. Kia is also rolling out its free software updates in a phased approach.
The Maryland Vehicle Theft Prevention Council reports that there are several common sense steps you can take to reduce the chances of your vehicle being stolen. This includes:
- Never leave your key alone in the vehicle.
- Close and lock all windows and doors when your park.
- Always park in well-lit areas.
- Never leave valuables within site in your vehicle
- Utilize an alarm system and/or an anti-theft device.
Per the Maryland State Police: As the one-year anniversary of a fatal road rage shooting approaches, investigators release more details and continue to seek the identity of the suspect pictured in video footage captured during the incident. On March 19, 2022, Delonte Hicks, 29, of Washington, D.C. was shot while driving a tow truck in Prince George’s County. He was transported from the scene to an area hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries. Autopsy results indicate his cause and manner of death as homicide by multiple gunshot wounds.
Investigators believe the suspect vehicle is a 2018 or 2019 Hyundai Sonata. The color of the vehicle is either black or gray. The suspect appears in the driver’s seat in the photos below.
Hicks was traveling on eastbound Route 50 at Route 410/Veterans Parkway in Prince George’s County. At approximately 4:45 p.m. police believe Hicks was exchanging words with the driver of a Hyundai Sonata (pictured below) when he pulled out a weapon and fired into the vehicle, striking Hicks. The gunman continued eastbound on Route 50.
Investigators have released video footage from a camera located inside the tow truck. Warning: the video footage contains sensitive audio capturing the incident.
Maryland State Police homicide detectives are continuing the investigation with assistance provided by the Prince George’s County Police Department. Police urge anyone with information relevant to this incident to call or text 410-365-5941. All callers may remain confidential.
Police urge motorists who feel they are engaged in a road rage incident to drive to a public place or the nearest police station. If possible, report aggressive driving incidents and any vehicle or suspect description to police.
Police urge motorists to avoid dangerous behaviors on the road and avoid the following:
-unnecessary use of high beam headlights
-unnecessary use of horn
-using hand gestures at other drivers
-tailgating and following to close
Police urge motorists to practice courtesy towards other motorists:
-use turn signals well in advance of changing lanes or turning
-avoid distracted driving and erratic driving
-drive the speed limit
-provide safe stopping distance by driving 2-seconds behind the car in front of you
-stay attentive and drive defensive
If another driver is exhibiting dangerous and aggressive behaviors, create a safe distance between their vehicle and yours. Do not engage in an exchange with the other driver. Continue driving and call police if the situation escalates before you can get to a police station.