Montgomery County, MD-A 19-year-old suspected of leading police on a chase during which one officer was struck and killed has been arrested. Ruel F. Dempster, 19, is charged with one count of reckless endangerment and three counts of fleeing and eluding police. He is also charged with four counts of hit and run in connection with striking parked vehicles.
Police believe Dempster was the suspected drunken driver who led police on a chase early Wednesday in Aspen Hill. Police responded to a report of a driver who appeared inebriated and tried to pull him over. The driver pulled into an apartment complex, got out of the car and began running, police said.
Montgomery County Police Officer Luke T. Hoffman got out of his cruiser to chase the suspect and was standing on the side of the road in a dimly lit area when another cruiser hit him, critically injuring him, according to police.
After hitting Hoffman, the cruiser swerved off the road and hit a tree. The driver, Officer was Stephen J. Wofsey, was also injured.
Both officers were airlifted to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. Hoffman died of his injuries at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday. Wofsey was released from the hospital Wednesday.
Hoffman, 24, was assigned to the Wheaton police station and had just graduated from the Montgomery County Police Academy in July.
Police said further charges could be brought against Dempster, who is being held on $250,000 bond.
Viewing and funeral services for Hoffman are planned for this Saturday, April 28, at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church located at 10800 Old Court Road in Woodstock, Md.
The viewing is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The funeral service will immediately follow.
Hoffman will be laid to rest with full police and fire department honors.