A volunteer fire chief in Prince George’s County was arrested for several traffic violations after he fled twice from police, once while driving in a marked fire department vehicle, police said.
Matthew Reginald Fowler, 49, of Waldorf, has been suspended from going on calls and making public contact as a firefighter while the 49 traffic charges are pending, according to Mark Brady, a spokesman for the Prince George’s fire department.
Fowler is a volunteer chief of the Silver Hill Fire Department, police said.
Officers had attempted to pull him over after arriving in the 2500 block of Lisa Drive in the Waldorf area of Charles County around 5 a.m. Tuesday in response to a report of a man threatening to slash the tires of his girlfriend’s car, according to a statement from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office.
Officers spotted a truck at the scene, the sheriff’s office said.
Officers attempted a traffic stop, police said, but Fowler fled in what police said was his personal truck. Police pursued him but stopped after he entered Prince George’s County. Officers were called back to Lisa Drive at 6:11 a.m. after Fowler reportedly returned to the area after switching vehicles at the Silver Hill station and returning in the fire department’s marked Ford Explorer, the sheriff’s office said.
The Explorer drove off, but officers pursued Fowler and were able to stop him about a mile a way, the sheriff’s office said.
The police report of the incident didn’t indicate that the emergency lights of the fire department’s Explorer were on during the second pursuit of Fowler, said Diane Richardson, a spokeswoman for the Charles County Sheriff’s Office.
Police charged Fowler with reckless driving, negligent driving and other related offenses.
Fowler was off duty at the time of his arrest, police said.
Online court records did not list an attorney for Fowler as of Tuesday afternoon, and he could not be immediately reached for comment.