It is understandable that some may ask why did I speak to the media? I don't doubt that the Maryland Transportation Authority Police and the Baltimore City Police are probably not happy that I spoke to the media, but I'm not really concerned with their feelings. I have been told that police departments typically release at least some initial information about fatalities within 24 hours, but in this case there was nothing released until Thursday. And even then, that was a press release from the Annapolis Police Department that indicated that one of their police officers (Officer Salyers) was involved in the crash. The Baltimore Police only confirmed the accident late Thursday when asked by the media; four full days after the accident.
To be completely honest, the reason I spoke to the media in the first place is because I didn't want Andrew's memory to be as an "unidentified passenger." I want people to know that there was a human being behind that label. The human being was our son Andrew.Here is The Capital article:
Baltimore Police yesterday confirmed the identity of a 19-year-old Glen Burnie man who died last Sunday in Brooklyn after the SUV in which he was riding collided with a car driven by an off-duty Annapolis police officer.
Andrew Arnold-McCoy - who was first identified as the crash victim Friday morning on his stepfather's blog - was thrown from his friend's SUV during the 10:30 p.m. wreck at the intersection of Patapsco Avenue and Potee Street, police said. He was pronounced dead a short time later at Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.
Details of the crash have been slow to reach the victim's family.
Michael Schearer, Arnold-McCoy's stepfather, said his family did not know Annapolis Police Officer James Salyers was driving the second car until Friday morning - when he read the first online news reports about the wreck.
"It's just been frustrating not knowing anything," said Schearer, explaining that police informed him of his stepson's death last Sunday. He claimed to have called Baltimore Police at least three times last week to no avail.
"We were not getting anywhere," he said yesterday afternoon after laying a wreath at the scene of the wreck.
Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department, said his detectives could not release information sooner because until yesterday the Maryland Transportation Authority Police was handling the investigation. He explained one of the Baltimore Police Department's traffic safety detectives died Sept. 27 in Pennsylvania and that most of the city's Accident Investigation Unit was busy Monday morning attending the funeral. He said that in light of the memorial service the department asked the MdTA police to conduct the preliminary collision reconstruction investigation in this case.
"There was no effort to hide anything," Guglielmi said of the fatal wreck - which was first announced Thursday afternoon by the Annapolis Police Department. "We were just trying to get something more to tell them. ... We still don't know much more than the fact there was a collision."
In addition to confirming the names of Salyers and Arnold-McCoy, Guglielmi also identified for the first time yesterday the driver of the SUV in which Arnold-McCoy was riding. He said Phil Dornberger, 19, of Pasadena, was behind the wheel.
No charges have been filed in connection with the crash, which occurred at an intersection controlled by a traffic light.
According to Guglielmi, Salyers was driving a 2005 Cadillac CTS south on Potee Street when he collided with Dornberger's 2000 Dodge Durango. He said Dornberger was driving east on Patapsco at the time of the wreck.
"It's unclear at this point who had the red signal," said Guglielmi.
Detectives ordered drug and alcohol tests, but Guglielmi said that was standard procedure. The results are not yet available.
When complete, the final police report will be forwarded to the Office of the Baltimore State's Attorney for review. A decision on charges could take months.
Salyers - who served 28 years with the Baltimore Police Department before retiring in August and joining the Annapolis force - will work in an administrative capacity pending the final decision, Annapolis police said.
A memorial service for Arnold-McCoy was held yesterday at Singleton Funeral Home in Glen Burnie.
Schearer described his stepson yesterday as an avid skateboarder. He said Arnold-McCoy worked at the Walmart in Severn, but hoped to get a sponsor and skate professionally.
"He was always trying to find a place to skate," said Schearer, recalling how his stepson would regularly try to film himself doing tricks. "That was just what he did. That was his passion."