County Comment: Washington County Emergency Communications Center and Sheriff's Office help safely apprehend burglary suspect

CAPTION: October is Disability Awareness Month in Washington County. (L-R) Commissioner Terry Baker, Joe Kuhna, Disabilities Advisory Committee Vice-Chair

County Comment
Washington County Emergency Communications Center and Sheriff's Office help safely apprehend burglary suspect
By Douglas Mullendore
Washington County Sheriff

The assistance of the Washington County Emergency Communications Center (ECC) results in an arrest for a burglary and assault on Reiff Church Road in Maugansville during the early morning hours of Wednesday, October 5, 2011.
On Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 05:23 hours the ECC received a call from a female cab driver who was reporting that she had brought a male from Waynesboro, PA to 17930 Reiff Church Road and that the male was breaking into the residence there. Emergency Communications Specialist Mike Shifler did an excellent job providing guidance to the cab driver to protect herself from the suspect. After the suspect broke into the residence and assaulted two people inside, he fled back to the cab and was able to get back into the vehicle.
Shifler recognized there was another voice on the call and discreetly asked the cab driver if the suspect was in the cab, to which the cab driver replied, "Yes." Shifler then started asking the cab driver yes and no answer questions in an attempt to gain as much information as possible and to direct the cab driver to a location where deputies could intercept the cab.
The cab driver pretended to be talking to her dispatcher while all the time talking with Shifler. He was able to get the cab driver to take the suspect to McDonald's Restaurant on Maugans Avenue where deputies were able to make contact with the cab. As DFC Damien Broussard arrived on the scene, Shifler told the cab driver to take the keys and exit the cab, which she did. After a struggle with the suspect and a short foot chase resulting in the suspect being tased, the suspect, Juan Rivera was taken into custody. A large knife was located on the seat of the cab where the suspect had exited.
Juan Rivera was charged with Burglary in the Third Degree, Burglary in the Fourth Degree, three counts of Assault, and resisting arrest. The successful outcome and arrest of the suspect in this case is a direct result of the professionalism and efficiency of the Washington County Emergency Communication Center and the response of law enforcement officers from the Washington County Sheriff's Office and Maryland State Police.
Washington County Sheriff Doug Mullendore says, "This is a testament to the efficiency the consolidated 911 center provides our local emergency personnel. During the emergency situation, no call was put on hold or transferred because the ECC team was able to work seamlessly with other dispatchers and communicate directly with both State and local law enforcement."