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DUI Suspect Was Wanted On Serious Charges Elsewhere
OCEAN CITY - After what could have been a deadly series of events last week, a LaPlata man was arrested last Friday for driving while intoxicated and soon found to be a wanted felon when officers conducted a warrant check on the individual.
According to police records, it was approximately 9:37 p.m. when OCPD Officer Joseph Melena was conducting a traffic stop in the area of Philadelphia Avenue and 3rd Street. As he was writing citations, he heard the horns of several cars and looked up to see a vehicle traveling northbound at a high rate of speed on the southbound portion of Philadelphia Avenue.
With emergency lights still activated, Melena ran toward the oncoming vehicle as others swerved to avoid it, waving his flashlight and motioning for the driver to pull over. The driver ignored the officer and continued driving into oncoming traffic and eventually turned into a parking lot.
However, he did not stay long and soon backed out onto Philadelphia Avenue where he spun his tires and took off heading northbound again until finally turning down 5th Street. Having lost sight of the vehicle, Melena radioed a description of what had occurred, cleared his current traffic stop and took off in pursuit of the suspect.
Heading north on Baltimore Avenue with Officer Michael Richardson, the officers were unable to find the driver right away due to the rate of speed the suspect was traveling but he was soon spotted along 28th Street as he drove heading south this time, still on Baltimore Avenue.
After making a U-turn, the officers were able to catch the suspect by 22nd Street and conduct a traffic stop. The diver was identified as David Christopher Karis, 37, of LaPlata, Md.
According to police records, officers immediately detected the odor of alcohol emanating from Karis and noticed that his movements were sluggish and his speech was slurred, obvious signs of intoxication. Field sobriety tests were then administered and Karis was soon arrested for driving under the influence.
Karis said he was sorry for driving the wrong way down the street and had no idea officers were trying to pull him over.
A background check on Karis revealed that his license had previously been revoked and a warrant was also out for his arrest from the Prince George's County Police Department for attempted murder, first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and hit and run.He was soon transported back to Prince Georges County where he is currently being held without bond.