This story was updated at 10:30 a.m. March 17, 2013.
Prince George’s County Police have identified the man they say attempted to steal an off-duty Washington, D.C., police officer’s personal vehicle with the officer’s 9-year-old daughter inside.
Police arrested Demetrice Littles, 19, of the 1800 block of M Street in Northeast Washington on Saturday in connection with the incident, which the officer fired his weapon several times, according to a press release from the department. He has been charged with first-degree assault, two counts of reckless endangerment, kidnapping a child under 16 and auto theft. He is currently in the custody of the Department of Corrections on a $30,000 bond.
Police did not immediately return a call for further comment on Saturday.
The incident occurred around 8:20 a.m. Friday in the 5000 block of Vienna Drive in Clinton. Police said the off-duty officer’s wife had started the vehicle in their driveway and put her 9-year-old daughter inside when Littles approached. The mother rushed inside and notified her husband, who is an off-duty officer with the Metropolitan Police Department, county police said.
Police said the officer came outside and began shouting at Littles, who had gotten into their vehicle with the daughter still inside.
“He then tries to order the suspect out of the car. He’s saying, ‘Get out, get out, get out,’” said Julie Parker, a county police spokeswoman.
At that time, the daughter jumped out of the vehicle, and Littles put the car in drive and began driving toward the officer who was standing in front of the car, police said.
“In fear for his life, the officer discharges his duty weapon multiple times, and the suspect crashes the car a short distance away,” Parker said of the black Toyota Camry that had struck a parked Chevy sport utility vehicle across the street.
Police said Littles then got out of the car and ran to another nearby vehicle and drove away. It remains unclear if Littles was struck, police said.
By Friday afternoon, Vienna Drive was laden with detectives and police officials from Prince George’s County and the Metropolitan Police Department.
Prince George’s police used a helicopter and a bloodhound to search for the suspect immediately after the incident, Parker said. Police also made calls to hospitals and health clinics in case they receive any patients with gunshot wounds, she said.
The officer, who has been placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated, has not been identified, but Washington, D.C., police said he is a 19-year veteran of the department.
Clinton resident Perry Baker said he lives a block away from the officer’s home.
“No place in the United States is safe. These are very dangerous, lethal crimes perpetrated against good people and young children,” he said. “The fact that they could do this to innocent people is just unforgiveable.”
This is not the first incident in southern Prince George’s County involving off-duty law enforcement officers this year.
On Feb. 12, an off-duty sheriff’s deputy from the Alexandria, Va., sheriff’s office was returning to his Fort Washington home when he noticed someone had broken into his residence, according to police. When he entered the home, he was confronted by the break-in suspect, and the off-duty deputy fatally shot the man, police said.
On Feb. 19 in Hillcrest Heights, an armed man who was high on PCP approached another man pumping gas at a gas station, police said. The man allegedly on PCP, Duane Lamar Williams, 34, of southwest Washington, D.C., reportedly chased the victim at the gas station and fatally shot him when an off-duty Metropolitan Police Department officer was nearby and identified himself as an officer to apprehend Williams. The officer did not discharge his weapon, according to county police, and Williams allegedly attempted to fire at the officer, but the gun jammed. Williams was charged with first- and second-degree murder, police said, and the officer was uninjured.
Staff Writer Tripp Laino contributed to this report.