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UPDATE: Suspect Flees Drug Sale, Vehicle Strikes Officer in Mall Parking Lot

An Anne Arundel County Police officer suffered minor injuries when he was hit by a fleeing suspect's car at Annapolis Mall.

Willie James Rhodes of Annapolis is charged with attempted murder for allegedly striking a police officer with his car. Credit: Anne Arundel County Police
Willie James Rhodes of Annapolis is charged with attempted murder for allegedly striking a police officer with his car. Credit: Anne Arundel County Police

A suspect in a narcotics case who fled Annapolis police reportedly used his vehicle to strike an officer in the parking lot of Annapolis Mall, then fled the scene, authorities say.

Officers from the Annapolis Police Department saw a narcotics sale about 11:45 a.m. Thursday in the area of Bestgate Road and Admiral Drive. They asked for help from the Anne Arundel County Police Department since the drug sale occurred outside of Annapolis’ jurisdiction. 

When an officer activated his emergency equipment to pull the suspect vehicle over, the driver failed to stop. Officers did not pursue the vehicle at the time, but saw it drive toward Annapolis Mall.

An Anne Arundel County officer, who was on foot in the mall parking lot, tried to get the driver to pull over. Instead the suspect allegedly continued, struck the officer’s arm with the vehicle and fled the scene.

Authorities said several officers pursued the vehicle, which struck two cars in the area of Chinquapin Round Road. The suspect then turned into the Newtown 20 Community, where he got out of the vehicle. After a brief foot pursuit, the driver was taken into custody.

No one was seriously injured in the incident. The officer who was struck went the hospital with minor injuries to his arm.

During the pursuit, officers saw the suspect throw what they believed to be illegal drugs from the vehicle. Officers subsequently recovered 13 baggies of heroin with an estimated street value of $900.

Suspect Willie James Rhodes, 24, of 614 Broach Court in Annapolis, is being charged with the following: attempted murder, first- and second-degree assault, assault on a police officer, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and numerous traffic offenses.

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