Police open fire on suspect as ‘injured troopers’ face attempted murder charges – State’s First Update


Delaware State Police Arrested John Collins, 30, of Perryville, MD, for the attempted murder of three state soldiers after an incident Monday morning, according to Chief Information Officer Master Corporal Jason Hatchell.

Hatchell said on November 29, 2021 around 2 a.m. On November 29, 2021 at approximately 2:44 a.m., soldiers responded to an alarm at the Hertrich Collision Center located at 100 Buckley Boulevard, Bear. The company registrant advised that a subject driving a downshift tow truck had entered the parking lot and was passing through vehicles. The responding soldier scanned the area and located the suspect vehicle in the Brandywine Woods development. The soldier attempted to contact the suspect at a stalemate in development. The suspect then drove the tow truck directly to the state police vehicle and hit it head-on, causing crippling damage, Hatchell said. The seven-year-old veteran soldier injured in the collision has been treated and released from a local hospital.

The tow truck then exited the facility and began heading west on Pulaski Road. A responding soldier observed the suspect vehicle and a chase ensued. During the chase, a soldier who was stationed in the middle strip was intentionally struck by the suspect who drove the tow truck past the Tahoe State Police, deactivating it.

As a result of the collision, the suspect fled west in the eastbound lane of the Pulaski Freeway until it became the Elizabeth Plaza Shopping Center located at 1410 Pulaski Freeway. The vehicle drove to the back of the mall parking lot and stopped. A third state police vehicle occupied by two soldiers, one being a recruited soldier, located the tow truck and triggered a traffic stop. As the two soldiers exited their patrol car, the suspect accelerated the tow truck into reverse and struck the fully marked State Police Tahoe. The recruited soldier who attempted to exit the vehicle from the driver’s side was thrown from the vehicle. The tow truck then began to accelerate forward when the 10-year-old veteran soldier fired his divisional handgun at the defendant and into the vehicle. The tow truck drove past the mall where it crashed and became unusable. The driver of the tow truck identified as John Collins and the front passenger identified as Gabrielle Santucci attempted to escape on foot but were taken into custody. The recruit injured in the collision was treated and released from a hospital in the area.

The tow truck involved in the incident was reported stolen in York, Pennsylvania.

Collins and Santucci were returned to Troop 2 where they were charged with the following crimes:

Collins

  • Attempted first degree murder of an officer (felony) – 3 counts
  • Possession of a lethal weapon while committing a felony (felony)
  • Carelessness endangering the first degree (crime)
  • Second degree assault Injuring a law enforcement officer (crime)
  • Receipt of stolen goods over $ 1,500 (crime)
  • Disregard a police officer’s signal (crime)
  • Criminal mischief – 3 counts
  • Attempted theft under $ 1,500
  • Plot 3e Diploma
  • Second degree criminal trespass

Collins was arraigned before Justice of the Peace # 2 and pledged to Howard R. Young Correctional Institution on a cash bond of $ 3,088,000.00.

Santucci

  • Attempted theft under $ 1,500
  • Plot 3e Diploma
  • Second degree criminal trespass

Santucci was arraigned in Peace Court No.2 and turned over to the Delores J. Baylor Correctional Institution on a guaranteed bond of $ 2,500.00.


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