Escaped convict nabbed after sparking chase in stolen box truck
Delaware State Police on Monday night arrested Mark Humbertson, 18, of Clayton, after he allegedly escaped from a Central Violation of Probation Center work crew near Collins Beach and led officials on a multi-agency vehicle pursuit in a stolen box truck from Dover to New Castle County.
Investigators said Humbertson, who was serving a sentence for violating probation on an original charge of firearm possession by a prohibited person, failed to return from a work break around noon Monday.
An immediate notification was sent to apprehension teams with the Department of Corrections, as well as to local and state law enforcement agencies.
After his escape, Humbertson allegedly burglarized an unoccupied home on the 200 block of Saw Mill Branch Road in Townsend.
Police said he forced his way into the house and stole a fully loaded .380-caliber handgun, as well as extra ammunition and other property, then fled on foot.
Humbertson next stole a Chevrolet box truck from a home on the 800 block of Saw Mill Branch Road and sped off, according to authorities.
Troopers around 10 p.m. spotted a vehicle fitting the stolen truck’s description traveling north on U.S. 13 near the Delaware State Police headquarters in Dover.
Officers attempted to conduct a vehicle stop, sparking a chase.
Police were able to successfully deploy disabling stop stick devices in the area of DE 71 near Townsend, deflating both front tires of the truck.
But Humbertson allegedly continued to drive north on U.S. 13 toward the St. Georges Bridge, riding on two front rims.
Police exited their cars at the south end of the bridge and deployed an additional stop stick device, causing Humbertson to swerve in the troopers’ direction.
He allegedly slammed into a police vehicle, causing significant damage to the driver’s side but without injuring any officers.
Investigators said Humbertson continued to drive north on the bridge as state police and local law enforcement agencies followed behind.
He allegedly brought the truck to a complete stop on the top of the bridge, where officers exited their vehicles in an attempt to arrest him.
Police said Humbertson instead suddenly put the truck in reverse and backed up at a high rate of speed in the direction of the officers, ramming an unoccupied state police vehicle.
Several officers shot multiple rounds from their handguns into the truck, but Humbertson allegedly continued to drive north to the base of the bridge.
There, according to authorities, he crashed into a guardrail and finally stopped.
Police arrested Humbertson and recovered from the scene the stolen .380-caliber handgun.
Humbertson was charged with two counts each of second-degree burglary and theft, as well as one count each of carrying a concealed firearm, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, theft of a firearm, theft of a motor vehicle and criminal mischief.
He was then turned over to the custody of the Department of Correction at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, where he was jailed on $49,000 cash bond.
Police said Monday they were continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the escape and pursuit and expected additional charges to be filed.