Carjackings have been all the rage with would-be car thieves lately, as the violent encounters have soared since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. A couple of young D.C. area suspects tried to get in on the action in Maryland recently, but got an unexpected surprise instead: an armed off-duty cop who sent the pair scurrying when he fired at them as they tried to force his family out of the car.
The incident reportedly occurred around 5:00pm Thursday in Oxon Hill, Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C. According to Prince George Assistant Chief Vernon Hale III, the suspects approached a car belonging to an as-yet-unidentified local officer and demanded that he and his family exit the vehicle. After everyone inside had complied with the thieves’ request, the officer pulled his department-issued weapon and fired at the suspects.
Prince George Assistant Chief Vernon Hale said, “The officer was able to get his family safely out of the vehicle, discharge his weapon and the suspects escaped including his personal vehicle.”
The two fled, and police issued a BOLO alert for a black GMC. Shortly thereafter, the police apprehended one suspect, 19-year-old Anthony Stewart of Washington, D.C. The second suspect remains at large, and police are working to identify him. Stewart has been charged with carjacking, robbery, and theft. He was arrested in D.C. but will be extradited to Maryland to face the charges against him.
Police do not believe that any of the shots fired by the officer hit either the suspects or any bystanders. No one was reported injured in the incident.
As Hale noted during a press conference about the incident, “As you can see, if this can happen to an off-duty officer, it can certainly happen to a family. So, we want to make sure that everybody remains diligent, take care of one another, and keep your eyes open.”