EDGEWOOD, Md. — A Florida man was taken into custody by Maryland State Police on Monday after police say he fled officers while driving a tractor trailer in the wrong direction on I-95.
Shortly before 12:30 p.m., troopers responded to the Maryland House Travel Plaza for a reported theft and found a person who told police his jacket and keys were stolen while inside the plaza.
The victim notified police the suspect was the driver of a specific tractor trailer.
While the victim was informing police of the theft, police were advised of a tractor trailer exiting the travel plaza on the wrong side. The tractor trailer was traveling south in the northbound lanes of I-95, driving against traffic.
After approximately three miles, police say 37-year-old Maurice Cooper stopped the tractor trailer on the fast shoulder in an active work zone where several highway workers were conducting roadwork.
A trooper then exited his vehicle in an effort to make contact with the driver and climbed on to the passenger side step of the tractor trailer.
Through an open passenger side window, the trooper told the driver to shift the truck into park and hand over his keys.
In response, the driver accelerated into the northbound lanes of I-95, again traveling south against northbound traffic.
The trooper continued to yell at the driver to stop, but he refused. As the driver continued to accelerate, the trooper was subsequently thrown from the truck onto the highway.
The trooper suffered minor injuries and refused medical treatment at the scene.
Preliminary information indicates the driver continued to drive against traffic for approximately four more miles and crossed all lanes of northbound I-95 to the slow shoulder into a construction zone where he made a U-turn and continued north on I-95.
An off-duty officer, aware of the ongoing incident, followed the vehicle as it exited off of I-95 while a helicopter from the Baltimore County Police Department located the tractor trailer as it pulled into a motel parking lot in Edgewood.
According to witnesses, the driver then fled on foot into a wooded area behind the motel.
The suspect, later identified as Cooper was located along the wood line and taken into custody without incident.
Cooper faces the following charges: attempted second-degree murder, first and second-degree assault, assault of a law enforcement officer, theft and other related traffic charges.