Armed Robber in State Police Custody

Maryland State Police have arrested a suspect who was apprehended this afternoon following an armed bank robbery, and a police pursuit on the Eastern Shore today. The accused is identified as Joseph Fuller Kempf, 23, of the11000 block of Bristersburg Road in Catlett, Virginia. He is currently being held at the Maryland State Police Centreville Barracks. Numerous charges are pending. Around 1:00 p.m. today, the Kent County Sheriff’s Office issued a police lookout for a gold 1997 Buick La Sabre with Virginia tags that was wanted in connection with an armed bank robbery that just occurred in Galena, Maryland. Shortly after the broadcast was issued, two off-duty state troopers were traveling in their personal vehicle on southbound Route 301, north of the welcome center in Queen Anne’s County. They noticed a vehicle tailgating them and driving erratically. They immediately called the Maryland State Police to report the traffic violations. After providing a description of the vehicle, two on-duty troopers from Centreville Barracks and an investigator from the Homeland Security Investigations Division were dispatched to the area. After responding to the area, a police pursuit ensued. The suspect drove erratically while attempting to flee police. He turned on to Route 305 heading into the town of Centreville. At the area of Water Street and Route 213, the suspect vehicle struck another vehicle in transport, causing minor damages and no injuries to the driver. The suspect continued to flee police. As the pursuit continued, the suspect drove east on Route 304 to Route 301 south taking the exit for Nesbit Road in Queenstown. Subsequently, the suspect crashed into the guard rail, but was able to turn right onto Blackbeard Road which turned into a narrow gravel lane leading back into farmland. At this point, there were three Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s deputies, four Maryland state troopers and two Natural Resources Police units involved in the pursuit. As the suspect approached a soybean field at the end of the gravel road, he attempted to turn around and drive head-on towards a Natural Resources Police officer in her patrol vehicle. She was able to avoid a collision. Then the suspect intentionally drove directly at a Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s deputy who was on foot in the narrow gravel lane. The sheriff deputy fired upon the suspect vehicle twice and was able to avoid injury. The suspect then lost control of the car and drove into a nearby marshy area. He exited the vehicle and immediately surrendered. He was apprehended by troopers on the scene. Kent County Sheriff’s Office responded initially to the bank robbery. A short time later, investigators from the Kent County Bureau of Investigation arrived, which is comprised of the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, the Chestertown Police Department, the Rock Hall Police Department and the Maryland State Police. The Natural Resources Police, Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office, the Maryland State Police Aviation Command, troopers from the Centreville Barracks and the Homeland Security Investigation Bureau, crime scene technicians from the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division and investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation from the Baltimore Office responded to the incident.