Editor’s note: This story was updated at 8:30 p.m. Oct. 31, 2022, to include information about the Montgomery County police department’s policy regarding pursuits.
A police chase in downtown Silver Spring ended after a vehicle carrying armed robbery suspects crashed into a Metrobus and the police cruiser in pursuit then struck the suspects’ vehicle, according to authorities.
At about 2:40 p.m., police responded to the 9300 block of Piney Branch Road for an armed robbery, Montgomery County police said in a 3:45 p.m. press release.
“Officers located the suspects at the White Oak Shopping Center. The suspects drove off and officers pursued the suspect vehicle, until it crashed into the rear end of a Metrobus. A Montgomery County Police cruiser subsequently crashed into the rear of the suspect vehicle,” the release said.
Police said two male suspects were taken into custody and Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service crews extricated a third male suspect from the crashed vehicle, police said in the release. A firearm was recovered during the arrest.
After the collision, first-responders evaluated three people injured in the collision, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson Pete Piringer wrote on Twitter around 3:30 p.m.
According to police, no officers were injured during this incident. Though Piringer reported that patients were transported to hospitals, police said “no serious injuries of passengers on the Metrobus or suspects have been reported.”
Photos of the scene from NBC4 showed a Ford minivan sitting on top of a police cruiser behind the bus.
The county police department’s policy regarding pursuit says a “criminal pursuit is justified if an officer believes a felony offense has been committed or is being committed, ” according to a message by Police Chief Marcus Jones included in the department’s 2021 Annual Pursuit Report.
In addition, the message says, “a supervisor will monitor and decide on whether to allow the pursuit to continue. Safety is the primary concern, whether the safety of the public, the safety of the officer, or the safety of the person(s) who are fleeing.”
The department “conducts an in-depth review of every vehicular pursuit to make certain” its guidelines are followed, and “if not, appropriate follow-up actions are promptly taken,” the message says.
According to the report, police were involved in 37 pursuits in 2021 and 46 in 2020. The 2021 total is lower than the department’s 10-year average of 42 pursuits per year, the report says.
Thirteen, or 35%, of the 37 pursuits that occurred in 2021 resulted in a collision, compared to 22 collisions, or 48%, resulting from the 46 pursuits in 2020, according to the report. One pursuit in 2021 was “deemed to be noncompliant” with department policy.
During Monday’s incident, northbound Georgia Avenue was temporarily closed at Burlington Avenue and 13th Street and drivers were advised to seek alternate routes, authorities said.
By around 4:40 p.m., two left northbound lanes were open on Georgia Avenue, while southbound lanes between Sligo Avenue and East-West Highway remained closed, officials said. By 7 p.m., southbound Georgia Avenue had been reopened, according to authorities.