An inmate from the probation violation center who escaped from a work crew Monday afternoon near Collins Beach was captured Monday night on the St. Georges Bridge after leading police on a vehicle chase.
The bridge was closed in both directions for about six hours during the apprehension and investigation, according to Delaware State Police Sgt. Paul Shavack.
Mark J. Humbertson, 18, of Clayton, was caught after a multi-agency vehicle pursuit which started in Dover, after he was seen operating a stolen box truck on Route 13.
The pursuit ended at about 10:45 p.m. on the St. Georges Bridge, where Humbertson was taken into custody.
Department of Correction spokesman John R. Painter said Humbertson was on a work crew from the Central Violation of Probation Center, working near Collins Beach northeast of Smyrna. When he didn't return from a break at about noon, notification was immediately sent to Department of Correction apprehension teams, as well as local and state law enforcement agencies.
Police said Humbertson committed a burglary at an unoccupied residence in the 200 block of Saw Mill Branch Road, Townsend. He forced his way into the house and removed a fully loaded .380 caliber handgun, additional ammunition, and other property, and then fled on foot. Later that evening, police received a report of a second burglary at a residence in the 800 block of Saw Mill Branch Road, and that a Chevrolet box truck had been taken.
At about 10 p.m., police spotted the stolen truck on Route 13 near the Delaware State Police Headquarters in Dover. Police attempted to stop the truck, but Humbertson sped away, north on Route 13.
Near Townsend at Route 71 (Summit Bridge Road), troopers deployed disabling stop stick devices, deflating both front tires of the vehicle. The truck, riding on two front rims, continued north on Route 13 towards the St. Georges Bridge.
Troopers were outside of their vehicle, deploying an additional stop stick device at the south end of the St. Georges Bridge when Humbertson approached and swerved the truck toward the troopers, striking a police vehicle, causing significant damage to the driver's side. The troopers weren't injured.
Humbertson continued north on the bridge with police agencies following. The truck came to a complete stop on the top of the bridge where troopers and officers from other agencies got out of their vehicles and attempted to take Humbertson into custody.
Humbertson put the truck in reverse and backed up at high rate of speed in the direction of police, ramming an unoccupied state police vehicle. Several troopers and officers shot at the box truck multiple times. The truck continued traveling north to the base of the bridge where it crashed into a guardrail and stopped.
Humbertson was taken into custody and the loaded .380 handgun was recovered.
Page 2 of 2 - There were no injuries during this incident.
Humbertson was charged with escape after conviction, two counts of second-degree burglary, possession of a firearm by a person prohibited from having one, theft of a firearm, theft of a motor vehicle, two counts of theft under $1,500, and criminal mischief. He was turned over to the Department of Correction at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center.
The investigation continues into this incident and additional charges are expected, police said.
Humberston was serving a sentence for violation of probation on a charge of possession of a firearm by a person prohibited from having one.