Police started chasing the black Jeep Cherokee because it fit the description of a vehicle taken in a carjacking about 90 minutes earlier in which the driver had been shot and left lying on a road in Northeast Washington.
But when police finally caught up with the Jeep and its driver Friday night at the Maryland Live Casino just off I-295 in Anne Arundel County, Md., they quickly realized that they had chased the wrong vehicle.
Still, they say its driver fled from police, and on Monday authorities revealed a possible reason. Police in Anne Arundel County charged Larry P. Browne Jr., 43, of Northeast Washington, with possession with intent to distribute drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia. He faces up to six years in prison.
Meanwhile, police said on Monday the Jeep Cherokee taken in the carjacking and shooting in the District had been found burned. Nobody has been arrested in that case.
A charging document filed in Anne Arundel County District Court and a D.C. police report in the carjacking offer additional details in the case that ended with Browne’s arrest at a slot machine inside the casino at Arundel Mills, near the Cheesecake Factory. Several patrons rushed out as police went inside. Police said he had a bag with 41.3 grams of marijuana, packing material and cash totally $1,172.
The incident began about 9:30 p.m. Friday when a man reported being carjacked of his black Jeep Cherokee in the 800 block of Division Avenue NE, in Burrville. A witness told police that the man was staggering in the street yelling, “Please help, I’ve been shot, call 911.”
Police said in a report they found the victim lying in the middle of the street. He told officers that at least one man had shot him and taken his vehicle. He was listed in serious condition at an area hospital on Monday.
About 10:50 p.m., police in the District reported seeing a black Jeep Cherokee and began to follow it onto northbound I-295. Prince George’s County police joined in the chase, with the help of a police helicopter. An Anne Arundel County officer saw the vehicle turn into the south entrance of the casino garage and lost sight of it. Officer surrounded the garage.
A few minutes later, officers found the Jeep on level 3 of the garage. It was unoccupied. Police said they watched surveillance video showing Browne getting on the southwest Level 3 elevator, then walking into the casino near the Cheesecake factory. He went into a bathroom and then exited. He was arrested moments after he sat down at a slot machine.
Five people were slightly injured and another suffered a medical emergency while people fled the casino as police went inside. Three of the injured declined to be taken to a hospital.
Browne was released from custody on $5,000 bail on Sunday. Browne could not be reached on Monday. No attorney was listed for him in the Maryland court documents.