OCEAN CITY — A two-state, high-speed chase ended in Ocean City Wednesday with police having to use a Taser multiple times to subdue the combative suspect, who now faces approximately 30 traffic and criminal charges.
At approximately 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, the Sussex County, Del. Communications Center alerted the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) that Del. authorities were on the lookout for a motorist that had reportedly been involved in a hit-and-run incident with an unoccupied car in a parking lot of Lighthouse Plaza in Rehoboth Beach.
The vehicle, driven by Brion Adam Kriss, 24, of Frankfort, Ill., had eluded police sight until he was actually in Ocean City proper and that was when authorities were able to “catch up” to the vehicle, according to police reports.
The OCPD confirmed during the initial stages of the pursuit information was provided that the suspect was in possession of some sort of large knife, which was displayed at some point during the incident in Delaware.
A high-speed chase then ensued in Ocean City and Kriss attempted to get away from Fenwick Island and South Bethany Beach authorities by turning on 134th Street and heading toward the ocean. The Delaware officers then located the vehicle heading north on Coastal Highway at 133rd Street after it struck a vehicle making an hazardous U-turn.
After striking at least two more vehicles on Coastal Highway, the suspect crashed into a pole in front of the Greene Turtle in North Ocean City and then fled on foot. Witnesses reported the man immediately abandoned the vehicle and sprinted away from the scene.
After refusing attempts to surrender, the suspect entered a nearby canal at one point and began swimming to elude capture, and police were able to catch up with him later on marsh land near Channel Buoy Road and Jamestown Road. A Maryland State Police helicopter, the OCPD K-9 unit and a Coast Guard vessel assisted in the effort.
Due to the suspect assaulting police officers during the apprehension, police utilized a Taser multiple times to subdue him while they were on the marsh. As a result of the Taser being discharged, the man was taken to Atlantic General Hospital per OCPD protocol.
In the earlier accidents, one of which occurred in front the Long & Foster office on 118th Street, a vehicle sustained damage and was pushed onto the curb. An air bag was deployed in that accident. The occupants were reportedly injured. Another vehicle was struck as well with children inside. The seriousness of the injuries was not believed to be life threatening.
Kriss is now facing 30 charges, including second degree assault, dangerous weapon concealed, resisting arrest, harm/death law enforcement animal, negligent driving, reckless driving, unsafe lane changes, driving while the influence of alcohol and failure to stop at accident causing bodily harm.
In his home state of Illinois, Kriss was convicted in 2008 of residential burglary, theft and aggravated possession of two to five stolen firemans and was sentenced in March of 2009 to seven years in prison. He was released on parole in March of 2012. Yesterday’s incident is believed to be the trigger for a fugitive from justice charge from Illinois filed yesterday as Kriss was on parole until March of 2014.
Ocean City Councilman Doug Cymek was on the scene Wednesday and watched Kriss battle with police officers and the K-9 on the marsh. He issued a statement lauding the police collaboration as well as the individual acts of police officers involved.
“Having the opportunity to observe the apprehension of this suspect yesterday morning, I was truly impressed as to the teamwork and cooperation exhibited by all involved. The joint efforts of the Delaware State Police, South Bethany and Fenwick Island Police Departments, Maryland State Police Trooper 4, United States Coast Guard and the scores of personnel from the Ocean City Police Department and Emergency Medical Services along with numerous citizens that worked so diligently to locate, contain and ultimately apprehend this individual before he could do further harm was very apparent,” Cymek said. “Thank you to Chief Ross Buzzuro and his on scene Command Staff and a very special thank you to Lt. Elton Harmon and Officers Vicki Martin, Mike Karsnitz, Kevin Flower and his K-9 partner “Uno” that displayed tremendous determination in such difficult and dangerous conditions.”
Kriss is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 21. He was still in jail as of Thursday.