Wanted for attempted murder, Joseph Clay fired gun at Prince Georges Officer during foot chase
RIVERDALE, MD. — A fugitive wanted for murder was a passenger in a car holding up traffic while driving at about 25 mph on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015 at about 3 pm. When two Prince Georges County Police officers pulled the vehicle over at the exit for Riverdale Road, the front seat passenger bailed out and beat feet, say police. During the chase, the fleeing fugitive turned and attempted to gun down the pursuing officer. The gun misfired.
Police identified the suspect as 21-year-old Joseph Chatman Clay. His last known address is 6707 Green Haven Road in Lanham.
“When Clay was just a few feet from our officer, he turned slightly as he ran, put the gun under his arm, pointed it at the officer and pulled the trigger,” reported the Prince Georges Police spokesman.
Police say that Clay continued to run and tossed the gun over a fence. An off-duty Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Deputy who overhead the radio traffic and came to assist the officers, was able to tackle the fleeing suspect. But, Clay got back up and tried to run. The deputy and the PG officer were able to take him into custody.
Clay is charged with attempted murder. Police say he had an open warrant for attempted murder in connection with a shooting in August in Riverdale.
The driver of the car is also facing drug charges. He’s 24-year-old David Edward Hall of Himes Avenue in Frederick. Officers recovered marijuana and MDMA pills in the car.
The involved officer suffered an injury to his leg. He was treated and released. He is a seven-year veteran of the department assigned to the auto theft unit.
So far this year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, preliminarily, 102 police officers across the country have died in the line of duty. Prince Georges Police said they are thankful this dangerous felon is off the streets and the officer was able to go home to his family.
Clay will appear on Nov. 20, 2015 for a preliminary hearing on his long march to prison.
On Aug. 27, 2015, Clay was charged with attempted murder in a warrant issued by the District Court of Prince Georges County, Md. Included in the warrant are charges of assault, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and having a handgun in a vehicle.
Charged with possession of drugs with the intent to distribute in Prince Georges County on June 18, 2014, Clay was represented by Jonathan D. Decarlo in District Court on Jan. 30, 2015. Prince Georges States Attorney Angela Alsobrooks dropped all the charges with no fine and no time.
Charged with possession of drugs other than marijuana on Oct. 26, 2012 in Prince Georges County, Clay was again represented by Attorney Decarlo. Once again, Prince Georges County States Attorney Angela Alsobrooks dropped all the charges on Jan. 24, 2013.