A man sent to repossess a car in Harford County ended up charged with assault after pursuing the owner of the vehicle he was targeting and lifting it into the air with her still inside of it, the Maryland State Police said.
A 27-year-old man from New Castle, Del., Astii D.C. Dunnum, was charged with assault, destruction of property, and disorderly conduct.
Police said at about 3 p.m. on Oct. 22, a trooper was sent to the parking lot of a convenience store in the 1200 block of Main Street in Darlington for a reported assault. Police had received several calls from Dunnum, his eventual victim, and others about an escalating situation. When police arrived, the owner of the car attempting to be repossessed, a Dodge Journey SUV registered to the victim's husband, was inside the car. The Dodge's front wheels were lifted roughly six feet off the ground and attached to the tow truck driven by Dunnum. The victim was still in the Dodge at the time.
Police determined through interviews and investigation that the 53-year-old woman in the Dodge was in her yard in the 1400 block of North Road in Bel Air when Dunnum "abruptly drove into her driveway," police said. The woman said she got into the Dodge because she was afraid of being struck, and after Dunnum did not announce who he was, the woman drove away because she feared for her safety, police said.
Dunnum pursued, following the woman onto Route 543 and then northbound Route 1. The woman alleges Dunnum tried to push her off the road multiple times, eventually striking her car at one point, police said. Several other drivers called police to report the dangerous pursuit. When the woman finally pulled into the convenience store parking lot, she said Dunnum deployed the tow apparatus and lifted the Dodge's front wheels while she was still in the vehicle.
The woman was transported by ambulance to a hospital for evaluation. Dunnum was arrested at the scene. Police were able to confirm he did have a repossession order for the car the woman was driving.