OCEAN CITY — An Illinois man, arrested in July on numerous criminal and traffic charges after a two-state, high-speed chase, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and resisting arrest in District Court in Ocean City Friday and was sentenced to 18 months in jail.
Brion Adam Kriss, 24, of Frankfort, Ill., appeared in District Court in Ocean City on Friday to face 30 total charges including second-degree assault, resisting arrest, causing harm or death to a law enforcement animal and carrying a concealed dangerous weapon along with 24 traffic charges stemming from the bizarre incident on July 17. The incident began with a hit-and-run accident in Rehoboth Beach, included a high-speed chase through Delaware beach towns and into Ocean City, where at least three more hit-and-run incidents occurred along Coastal Highway before the suspect crashed on Coastal Highway near 116th Street and then fled on foot.
Ocean City Police and allied law enforcement agencies then tracked Kriss into the marsh area behind the Gold Coast Mall where the suspect continued to fight with police and attempted to drown a police K-9 dog before ultimately being subdued with a Taser and taken into custody after a few hours. Kriss last Friday pleaded guilty to one count each of second-degree assault and resisting arrest and was sentenced to 18 months in jail. The remaining criminal counts and the 24 traffic counts were not prosecuted as a result of the plea agreement.
Around 10:30 a.m. on July 17, the Sussex County Communications Center alerted the OCPD that Delaware authorities were on the lookout for a motorist who had reportedly been involved in a hit-and-run incident with an unoccupied car in Rehoboth Beach. The driver, later identified as Kriss, had eluded police in Delaware until he had crossed over into Ocean City, where authorities were able to “catch up” to the vehicle. During the initial phases of the pursuit, it was learned Kriss was in possession of a large knife, which he had displayed at some point during the chase in Delaware.
Kriss attempted to evade the Sussex County authorities pursuing him by turning onto 134th Street and heading toward the ocean. Delaware officers then picked up the chase again in the area of northbound 133rd Street, where Kriss struck another vehicle while making a hazardous U-turn and heading south on Coastal Highway. After striking at least two more vehicles on Coastal Highway, the suspect vehicle then crashed into a pole in front of the Greene Turtle in north Ocean City and Kriss fled the scene on foot.
After refusing police pleas for him to surrender, Kriss then entered a nearby canal and began swimming to elude capture. Ocean City Police were able to catch up with him again in the marsh near Channel Buoy Rd. and Jamestown Rd. A Maryland State Police helicopter, a Coast Guard vessel and an OCPD K-9 unit assisted in the pursuit.
Kriss was ultimately taken into custody after a struggle with police during which he assaulted officers and attempted to drown an OCPD K-9 dog. Kriss had to be tazed several times while in the water in the marsh before being finally subdued. It was later learned that in his home state of Illinois, Kriss had been convicted in 2008 of residential burglary, theft and aggravated possession of two to five stolen firearms and was sentenced in March 2009 to seven years in prison. He was released on parole from that conviction in March 2012.