Officer shoots man during ATV struggle
Suspect is wounded in leg in Bel Alton fight
When an off-duty officer heard suspicious noises outside his home, he went out and allegedly discovered someone attempting to steal his all-terrain vehicle.
Charles County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Diane Richardson said when the officer went outside his Bel Alton home at 5:36 a.m. Oct. 18, he was confronted by a man who was trying to steal an ATV attached to a trailer at the officer’s home.
Richardson said the officer identified himself to the man later identified as Matthew Leo Wade, 29.
The officer ordered Wade to the ground, but he ran into a wooded area, Richardson reported. The officer caught up to Wade, and Richardson said a struggle ensued when the officer attempted to detain Wade.
During the struggle, the officer’s gun fell to the ground, and Wade grabbed it and pointed it at the officer, Richardson said. She said the officer was able to get control of the weapon enough to fire one shot.
At that point. Richardson said, the officer was “in fear of his life.” The shot struck Wade in the leg.
Richardson said the struggle continued, and Wade took control of the gun and ran off. Wade ran to a nearby relative’s home and asked for a ride, she said. Someone inside the home came out and got in a car with Wade and drove off.
A short time later, Richardson said, sheriff’s officers who were called to the area to investigate the altercation stopped the car.
Wade was identified as the person in the off-duty officer’s yard.
Officers found items belonging to the off-duty officer on Wade including the gun. It was later determined that Wade had broken into the off-duty officer’s shed and truck.
Wade was taken to the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center in La Plata to be treated for the gunshot wound. He was treated and released to sheriff’s officers.
Wade was charged with 18 crimes including first-degree and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, burglary and theft.
Wade is being held at the Charles County jail.