SALISBURY — A Salisbury man, charged with kidnapping and assaulting his date after a woman approached police in tattered, blood-stained clothes during his traffic stop last December, was found guilty last week and was sentenced to 18 years in jail.
Just after midnight last Dec. 19, Maryland State Police (MSP) troopers pulled over Philip Daniel Thomas, 32, of Salisbury, for performing an illegal U-turn at Nanticoke Road after his vehicle nearly collided with the officer’s patrol car. MSP troopers believed Thomas was driving under the influence and asked him to perform field sobriety tests.
During the course of the field sobriety tests, a female individual wearing tattered, blood-stained clothing limped toward the officer’s flashing police lights. The investigation revealed the victim had been on a date with Thomas. After the date had concluded, Thomas forced the 33-year-old victim into the car he was driving.
Thomas then detained the 33-year-old victim inside the vehicle against her will while driving at a high rate of speed on Nanticoke Road. During the victim’s emotional testimony at trial last week, she detailed her horrifying ride as Thomas threatened he was going to kill her and hide her body. The victim, facing a desperate decision, then jumped from the vehicle traveling around 50 mph in order to escape Thomas. After the victim jumped from the vehicle, Thomas made the illegal U-turn that caught the attention of the MSP trooper traveling on Nanticoke Rd. in the opposite direction.
Thomas was found guilty of kidnapping and assault following a jury trial in Wicomico County last Wednesday. He was sentenced to 18 years in the custody of the Department of Corrections.
Wicomico County State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello praised the MSP for their discovery and investigation, particularly Trooper Travis Workman, who observed the illegal U-turn that led to the traffic stop, and Trooper William Shelter, who assisted the victim after she came forward.
“This case is a prime example of how traffic enforcement often leads to the apprehension of violent felons,” he said. “In this case, an astute Maryland State Police trooper surely saved a life. I am so thankful for their continued service to our community.”