Maryland man charged with trying to murder police with dump truck

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 08, 2015 3:26 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Maryland dump truck driver was charged on Thursday with attempted murder of two police officers for allegedly ramming his vehicle into squad cars, authorities said.

The suspect, Gene Brandon Jr., 31, of Aquasco, Maryland, is accused of crashing into the police cars on Wednesday in Glenarden, a suburb of Washington, the Prince George's County Police Department said in a statement.

Two officers were talking next to their cruisers when Brandon pulled his truck next to them and yelled at them. The officers told him to move along, and Brandon drove off, the statement said.

About a minute later, Brandon returned, slamming his truck into the back of one of the cars and pushing both vehicles about 30 feet (9 m). The truck came to rest on top of one of the squad cars, the statement said.

Brandon jumped out of the truck and confronted the officers, who took him into custody. He faces two counts of attempted first-degree murder and assault charges, according to court documents.

The maximum penalty for attempted first-degree murder in Maryland is life in prison.

The motive for the attack was not given, and a police spokesman could not be reached immediately for comment. Police also released a surveillance video showing the incident.

Attacks on U.S. police have received greater attention since the shooting deaths of two New York officers on Dec. 20 by a gunman who said he wanted to avenge the deaths of two unarmed black men in encounters with police in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Alan Crosby)