“This could have been much, much worse,” said Ron Snyder, a state police spokesman.
Robinson slowed to 80 mph, the court records state, before ramming the back of a different state trooper’s vehicle traveling the same direction on Interstate 270 in Gaithersburg.
Troopers at the scene smelled “an overwhelming odor” of alcohol coming from Robinson, 34, according to a sworn affidavit. The troopers summoned Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service — the agency for which Robinson was training — to evaluate him for injuries. But Robinson would not allow his vital signs to be taken, according to court records.
After an ambulance ride to Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center, events turned more bizarre, according to the allegations against Robinson.
Robinson hopped on a hospital check-in counter and sat on it as he called his wife, according to the affidavit, signed by Trooper Joshua Quase and filed in Montgomery District Court. Robinson yelled at the trooper and gave him a chest bump before two troopers placed him under arrest, the court records allege. Robinson was cited for driving under the influence, reckless driving, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and other counts.
“We are still in the early stages of this case but are taking the allegations seriously,” said Kush Arora, an attorney for Robinson, who is from Gaithersburg. “My client and I look forward to a swift resolution of this matter.”
The trooper affidavit does not cite a blood alcohol level for Robinson and does not say whether a breathalyzer test was given. Trooper Noah Potvin, whose vehicle was hit, was treated and released from Adventist.
Robinson is no longer enrolled at the training academy, according to a county fire department spokesman. He was scheduled to graduate by mid-June, at which point he would have been assigned to a fire station and begun going on fire and rescue calls, the spokesman said.
Robinson’s case was one of 105 DUI arrests in the state over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend, according to state police officials.
It follows a set of DUI arrests of allegedly highly disoriented drivers in Montgomery County: a 32-year-old accused of driving with no lights through snow at 2:45 a.m. and hitting a parked car; a 42-year-old accused of hitting a large sign and continuing with a wooden post stuck in his front windshield; a 20-year-old accused of driving through a designated crash scene created hours earlier after a collision involving a different suspected drunk driver.
Robinson grew up in Massachusetts and played basketball and football at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. He studied at the University of New Haven, where he played wide receiver, according to the university.
After college, according to court records, he moved to the Washington area and had a tryout with the Washington Redskins. He eventually turned to becoming a firefighter in a desire to help the public, according to court records.
Robinson was accepted at the Montgomery academy, where he started in December and became a county employee with a salary of $46,000 a year, according to court records. Like his classmates, he had five days a week of class instruction and training, according to Pete Piringer, a fire and rescue department spokesman.
The incident leading to his arrest began in the early hours of March 17 when a trooper parked in an unmarked car along northbound Interstate 270 near Route 28 was operating a speed gun in a 55 mph zone, according to the trooper’s affidavit. An SUV zoomed past and clocked at 126 mph, the affidavit stated.
“I was not able to catch the vehicle due to its high speed and traffic conditions,” the trooper, Quase, wrote.
He radioed a warning just moments before Robinson’s 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe crashed into the back of a marked Ford Explorer driven by Trooper Potvin, the court files show. Quase arrived at the scene and spoke to Robinson, the trooper wrote in the filings.
“I smelled an overwhelming odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from his person,” Quase wrote. “I asked Robinson why he was traveling at such a high rate of speed. Robinson stated he was not speeding.”
Montgomery firefighters, who are trained as emergency medical technicians, got Robinson into a parked ambulance but could not get him to agree to be evaluated, according to court records. At the hospital, Robinson exited the ambulance on his own and entered the hospital, where, Quase wrote, the trooper asked him what he was doing.
“I drove here,” Robinson allegedly responded. “I’m checking myself in, OK?”
A short time later, Robinson entered a bathroom for about five minutes and allegedly walked past Quase when he emerged.
“Do not walk away from me,” the trooper recounted saying in his court statement.
Robinson came “nose to nose” with Quase and bumped the trooper’s chest, Quase wrote.
Robinson began yelling, Quase wrote, which attracted a crowd before he tried to place Robinson under arrest, prompting a “brief struggle” between Robinson and two troopers.
Robinson was taken to the Montgomery Detention Center, where he was processed into the system and released on his own recognizance. He is due in court on May 7.
Jennifer Jenkins contributed to this report.