From the Harford County Sheriff’s Office:
[April 25, 2013, Bel Air, MD] — At approximately 9:15 p.m. on April 24th, Harford County Sheriff’s deputies and the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company were dispatched to the 1000 block of East MacPhail Road in Bel Air for a report of a motor vehicle crash with fire.
Upon arrival deputies were told a vehicle had driven off the road and struck a home at 1030 East MacPhail Road causing it to catch fire. The vehicle then allegedly backed up and into a home at 1028 East MacPhail Road knocking a portion of the home off its foundation. The vehicle then allegedly drove down into the back yards of both homes then up into their front yards and then left the area driving east on East MacPhail Road.
Police immediately issued an alert for the suspect vehicle which was described as a blue pick-up truck. Officials from the Baltimore Gas and Electric and building inspectors from Harford County Government also responded to assist.
Fire department personnel told deputies the vehicle struck the corner of the home at 1030 East MacPhail Road in the area where the electric and gas utilities enter the home. They further reported that in addition to striking the electrical service (meter) to the home the vehicle also stuck and severed the propane gas line causing it to rupture. As the electrical equipment arced it ignited the propane gas which subsequently set the home on fire. The fire spread up the side of the home damaging the siding. A neighbor who witnessed the fire was able to extinguish the fire with an extinguisher.
Approximately 20 minutes later, Deputy Andrew VanHelten was patrolling the area of Rt. 543 and Rt. 136 when the suspect vehicle passed him. Deputy VanHelten stopped the vehicle, which was determined to be a 2001 blue Chevy Silverado, at Rt. 136 and Cedar Lane. The driver was identified as Michael Lee Smith, 54, of 1023 Cedar Lane, Bel Air. Mr. Smith was arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Driving Under the Influence (DUI), possession of a controlled dangerous substance (marijuana), and leaving the scene of an accident.
Although both homes sustained damage it had not been determined, as of this release, whether the occupants would remain in their homes. There were no injuries reported. Mr. Smith was taken to the Harford County Detention Center where he had a hearing alongside his dwi attorney before a District Court Commissioner and was released on his own recognizance.
Steve Ermidt says
My only question is why don’t the “teachers” use their real name? Scared?
Is that how you all roll? Anonymous smack talk on “social media”?
Lots of thumbs down for me, but I’m right.
Wrong topic dummy.
Joseph White says
This man was RELEASED? How much damage while driving drunk do you have to cause before being held, at least on a high bond?
Joe Donfret says
Since he is charged with misdemeanor.violations, it’d be hard pressed to see a million dollar bond since personal injury wasn’t involved in this particular incident.
I agree. Those poor families will live with trying to repair these damages and having their lives disrupted, I’m sure the monetary cost is high, as well as emotional distress.
Big chief cheeseburger says
That’s what insurance is for.
Marc Eaton says
Great job Deputy VanHelton. Commissioners follow guide lines on how to set bail. It is frustrating in the beginning and you learn to accept it.
Sounds like a real winner. Has a previous incident w/ assault and indecent exposure.
Old Skool says
Looks like he has a John Carrol athletic shirt on.
LOL WTF? says
Let’s ban alcohol, obviously if he wasn’t drinking alcohol this would have never happened, right? LOL
A quick look at his Maryland Case search turns up PBJ and Nolle prosequi on previous cases of this character. This man is no stranger to being trouble, and obviously no stranger to being released back into society with only a few days off work and money paid for his counsel for his negligence in society, no actual jail sentences. What’s really wrong here?
I’m sure I’ll get the “thumbs down.”