Del. Fugitive Still At Large

BISHOPVILLE – A fugitive from Delaware remains at large today after a bizarre sequence of events this week that began with a low-speed chase from Delaware into northern Worcester County, included an hours-long standoff at his Bishopville home, his ultimate surrender and arrest and finally his escape again from police in Selbyville.

Around 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Selbyville Police officers on targeted patrol in the area of the Polly Branch Mobile Home Park observed what they believed to be an illegal drug transaction around a vehicle. When the officers approached the vehicle, a gray Ford Crown Victoria, the driver, later identified as Matthew L. Curtis, 27, of Bishopville, failed to stop and sped away.

Selbyville Police pursued Curtis from Polly Branch Rd. across Route 54 and into Bishopville in Worcester County where the suspect abandoned his vehicle and fled into his residence on St. Martin’s Neck Rd. several miles from where the chase began. Curtis remained in his home and refused to come out.

The stand-off continued as officers from the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and Maryland State Police, including a SWAT team, responded to the scene and surrounded the residence. St. Martin’s Neck Rd. near Route 90 was shut down for several hours beginning at 6 p.m. on Tuesday as Curtis refused to surrender.

Selbyville Police secured several felony arrest warrants for Curtis in anticipation of his surrender or capture, whichever came first. Finally, around 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday, or about seven hours after the incident began, Curtis came out of his Bishopville home and surrendered to Selbyville Police.

However, his time in custody was short-lived. Curtis was transported to the Selbyville Police Department where he was interviewed and processed. While he was waiting to be arraigned, however, Curtis was able to free himself from his handcuffs and flee from officers.

How Curtis managed to escape from his handcuffs in not known, according to Selbyville Police Chief W. Scott Collins.

“We’re not really sure at this point how he managed to escape,” he said. “I guess we’ll find out when he is taken back into custody.”

Curtis fled the area and was not recaptured. He remained at large as of late yesterday although Collins said he was fairly confident Curtis could be back in custody as early as today.

“The last we heard, he had been talking to his mom and she expected him to turn himself in to us sometime tomorrow [Friday],” he said. “She has apparently been in contact with him and knows his whereabouts.”

Currently, there are several felony warrants pending for Curtis. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Selbyville Police Department at 302-436-5085.