Delaware Police Pursue Suspect Into Ocean City

Brian A. Kriss

Brion Adam Kriss

On July 17, 2013, at approximately 10:30 a.m. officers from the Ocean City Police Department were contacted by Sussex County Delaware Communications Center in reference to a vehicle pursuit originating in Fenwick Island heading south into Ocean City.  During the initial stages of the pursuit, information was related to the OCPD that the suspect being pursued was in possession of a large knife which had been displayed by the suspect during a prior incident in Delaware.

Both Fenwick Island and South Bethany Police pursued the vehicle into Ocean City at approximately 10:35 a.m., at which point the driver attempted to evade the Delaware Police by turning onto the Ocean Block of 134th Street.  The Delaware officers observed the vehicle heading north on Coastal Highway at 133rd Street when the suspect vehicle made an abrupt U-turn striking a vehicle and causing minor damage. 

The suspect vehicle then headed south on Coastal Highway when it struck a car at 118th Street then crashed into a car near 117th Street, before losing control and crashing into a utility pole in the area of Jamestown Road on Coastal Highway.  The crash at 118th Street resulted in one person being transported to Atlantic General Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

At this time, the suspect fled from the crash scene on foot and then stole a bicycle. He proceeded to ride the bicycle south, behind the Gold Coast Mall, while being pursued by the two Delaware Officers.  OCPD officers responded to the area; however, the suspect had fled into the marsh and bay behind the mall. 

The suspect, who would not comply with officers’ requests to surrender, continued to flee by swimming in the marsh and bay south toward Channel Buoy Road.  Several OCPD officers became involved in the apprehension, along with South Bethany and Fenwick Island Police, as well as the Maryland State Police Helicopter. 

Because the suspect was believed to be armed with a large knife, was very combative and assaulted several officers, police utilized an ECD/TASER, K-9 Unit and less than lethal projectile launcher to subdue the suspect, who was taken into custody on a small sandbar approximately 100 yards northwest of Channel Buoy Road. The suspect has been positively identified as: Brion Adam Kriss, 23, from Illinois and was treated for injuries related to the apprehension at Atlantic General Hospital. 

The Ocean City Police are currently investigating the vehicle crashes that occurred on Coastal Highway and the resulting charges related to the combative actions of the suspect during the apprehension.   The below excerpt has been released by the Delaware State Police:

The original call was reported at approximately 9:45 a.m. as a hit and run crash in a parking lot of Lighthouse Plaza in Rehoboth (DSP jurisdiction) where an unoccupied parked car was struck.  The suspect vehicle fled the parking lot and a general bulletin (GB) was put out including the tag information.  Within a half hour, another GB was put out on the same vehicle driving recklessly southbound, north of Bethany.  South Bethany PD was alerted to the information and searched from their jurisdiction south to Fenwick Island.  As the officer from S. Bethany was sitting stationary with the Fenwick Police officer near East Atlantic Street, they were alerted by motorists traveling southbound on SR1 of the GB vehicle and attempted to catch up to the vehicle as it entered into Ocean City, MD.  They did not actually catch up to the vehicle until they were in Ocean City’s jurisdiction.  At this time, OCPD has the unnamed suspect in custody.  Charges are pending in Delaware and the investigation is on-going.  A formal press release will be sent out once information is gathered from all agencies.

Additional information regarding the Delaware related incidents will be released by Delaware State Police Public Information Officer, Master Corporal Gary Fournier 302-535-3706.

As of July 18, Kriss has been charged by Ocean City Police with inflicting bodily harm on a law enforcement animal, resisting arrest, second degree assault, possession of a concealed deadly weapon and 24 other assorted traffic violations resulting from the vehicle collisions. Kriss was also issued fugitive warrants from Illinois and Delaware. Kriss was seen by a Maryland District Court Commissioner and was initially held on $50,000 bond for his charges from OCPD. It was later determined that he would be held without bond as a result of the fugitive warrants from Illinois and Delaware. Kriss is currently being held at the Worcester County Jail.