16-year-old boy judge called 'one-man crime wave' accused of fatally hitting Baltimore County cop with car
The teenager was arrested Monday shortly after the officer's death.
A 16-year-old boy -- whom a judge called a "one-man crime wave” -- is in custody after being accused of first-degree murder for allegedly hitting a Baltimore County police officer with a car, according to charging documents.
Three other suspects -- all teenage boys -- were also taken into custody in connection with the Monday killing of officer Amy Caprio, police said.
The incident began as the teen sat in a Jeep Wrangler while the three other suspects burglarized a Baltimore County home, according to the documents.
Caprio responded and the teen, Dwanta Anthony Harris, fled down the street, according to the documents.
The officer followed the teen down the cul de sac, drew her weapon and gave commands, the state’s attorney said in court today. The teen then opened the door of the Jeep, looked out, then shut the door, ducked down and drove directly into the officer, said the state’s attorney, citing body camera footage.
Someone saw the Jeep Wrangler drive directly at Caprio, striking her and then fleeing the area, according to the documents.
The officer was able to fire her weapon, the prosecutor said. The suspect then drove another block, got out of the car and tried to leave the area, the prosecutor said, but was caught nearby.
Caprio suffered "traumatic injuries" and was later pronounced dead, according to the documents.
She would have been a four-year veteran of the department this July, police said.
Caprio was a "smart, athletic, energetic" officer who was "starting to show she had all the potential to be an excellent officer" as well as a leader, police said today.
Instead, her potential was "snuffed out" in a "senseless act," police said.
Harris, who was charged as an adult with first-degree murder, made an initial appearance in county court today, where he was ordered to be held at an adult detention facility.
The courtroom was filled with police officers in support and mourning of their fallen colleague.
Once in custody Harris “admitted to participating in the crime,” the state’s attorney said in court today.
During his police interview, Harris had the keys to the Jeep in his pocket and during a break, he hid them under the seat. Officers later found the keys, the attorney added.
Harris' public defender asked that his client be placed in a secure juvenile facility.
The attorney said when at home Harris would help with chores and helped his sister.
Harris' attorney added that he was in ninth grade, but his “ability to pass [ninth] grade had eroded to some extent.”
But Judge Sally Chester said that Harris was a “one-man crime wave” over the past six months and that there was “no way under the circumstances” that he could be released from custody or placed in a juvenile facility, saying she wasn’t “sure any juvenile facility is secure enough” to hold him.
Chester said the teenager had committed at least four auto thefts spanning from 2015 to this year.
Harris had been put on house arrest at his mother's Baltimore home in April, according to prosecutors.
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