Restraint and good police work led to the arrest of an African American teenager from Baltimore accused of trying to run down a Lewisburg police officer last weekend.
While national news repeatedly highlights the killings of African American suspects during arrests, officers were able to arrest Joshua Jerome Brown, 19, on Sunday without anyone getting hurt.
According to Lewisburg Police Chief Tim Stover, Brown was arrested after fleeing from three police officers, one of whom he tried to run over with his car. Stover said that Brown escaped arrest early Saturday morning, but turned himself in the next day after police got in touch with his family, who convinced him to turn himself in to authorities.
Stover said, “Upon reviewing the video, I think the officers used pretty good restraint” in their decision to not shoot at Brown, despite his fleeing from officers into a Lewisburg neighborhood and then turning his car on an officer, and hitting the officer’s cruiser, during his escape.
According to a press release from Stover, the incident began on Rt. 60, when Lewisburg Sgt. D.B. Eggleston and Ptlm. J.T. Williams III noticed a Toyota Corolla travelling at a high rate of speed at approximately 12:25 a.m. The officers initiated a traffic stop and the vehicle turned onto Holt Lane and finally stopped at Bell Drive just off Rt. 219.
Williams approached the vehicle, which Brown was driving, and smelled a strong odor of marijuana. Brown then reached into the console of the car and removed a package and stuffed it into the front of his pants. Williams told Brown to give him the package, and Brown refused, put the car in gear and sped off toward South Jefferson Street, a dead-end street.
Brown pulled into a driveway at 612 S. Jefferson Street when the officers caught up with him, and Brown backed up, almost striking the officers’ cruiser.
Ptlm. R.L. Crone, who was responding to the chase, stopped his car in the street and exited his car. Brown accelerated toward him and Crone had to jump out of the way. Brown struck Crone’s cruiser with such force that it spun the police vehicle around. Crone was not injured, and Brown got away.
Stover said that at that point, the department was able to determine the Toyota Corolla was a rental car, and through “pinging” cell phones, reach Brown’s family in order to locate the suspect.
Brown’s family, who was in contact with him, convinced him to turn himself in to the Lewisburg authorities. He was arrested and charged with one count of attempted murder and one count of reckless fleeing. He was remanded to Southern Regional Jail in lieu of a $15,000 cash-only bond. As of press time, Brown remains in jail. The investigation is continuing, and further charges may be forthcoming.
Stover said that Brown is currently on parole in Maryland after serving time for armed robbery.