Bear deterrent spray used to stop the attempted armed robbery of a restaurant Friday helped officers identify the suspect and make an arrest, police said Monday.

James Edward Maxwell III, 36, was arrested by Frederick police at 9 p.m. Friday after members of the department’s Street Crimes Unit spotted him on Butterfly Lane near South McCain Drive and noticed he matched the description of a man who had tried to rob Dutch’s Daughter restaurant earlier that night, said Lt. Kirk Henneberry, commander of the Frederick Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division.

Maxwell entered the restaurant at approximately 7:15 p.m. and threatened employees with a knife, but fled without taking anything after one of the employees sprayed him with bear deterrent spray, a powerful form of pepper spray, Henneberry said.

“That actually helped us solve the case because when our officers contacted the man on Butterfly Lane he still reeked of bear spray,” Henneberry said.

No one was injured in the attempted robbery, but an ambulance did respond to the restaurant due to the use of the chemical bear spray, the lieutenant confirmed.

“No one else was sprayed but there was still some lingering odor and I’d imagine there was quite a bit of coughing and sneezing, but they remained open for carryout and pickups,” Henneberry said.

Frederick police, sheriff’s deputies and a state police helicopter were already out searching along the Golden Mile when the call for the Dutch’s Daughter robbery came through, the lieutenant said. The sheriff’s office was called to an armed robbery at 6:02 p.m. Friday in the area of Grove Hill Road just outside the city, according to Taylor Clarke, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office.

That robbery involved a taxi driver who had picked up a male passenger from another location near the city and, when they had reached Grove Hill Road, the man pulled a knife and demanded money from the driver. The robber made off with the driver’s wallet and approximately $40 in cash, but there were no injuries as a result of the robbery, Clarke wrote in an email response to the News-Post’s questions Monday afternoon.

While Henneberry was unable to discuss details of the sheriff’s office’s call, he confirmed that Maxwell was identified as the suspect in that robbery, as well.

Maxwell, of the 4800 block of Old National Pike, was charged with one count of armed robbery and two counts each of first-degree assault, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment as a result of his arrest by city police for the attempted restaurant robbery. He was also charged with armed robbery and first- and second-degree assault by the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office for the initial armed robbery, court records indicate.

A judge denied Maxwell the opportunity to post bail in both cases during hearings held in Frederick County District Court on Monday morning and Maxwell remained in the Frederick County Adult Detention Center awaiting a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 6, according to online court records.

Follow Jeremy Arias on Twitter: @Jarias_Prime

Jeremy Arias is the Frederick city and government reporter for The Frederick News-Post.

(20) comments

dancing donna

Amazon sells it. The employee who saved his fellow employees should receive a raise. People are risking their lives to feed us, to take care of us, to restock supplies for us. Let the sane citizens show immense gratitude to everyone. Send a card, say a kind word, give food to a neighbor, call and check in with a friend or elder, give money if you can for the person that has lost their job, or whatever to those who are making our lives easier.

dancing donna

There is some humor here where the police said "they could identify the robber by the smell". I think this should be a good advertisement for bear repellent.


See, this is why I refuse to eat at Dutch’s Daughter. Dangerous bears are so common there that the employees need to carry protection. How can anyone enjoy a meal there while constantly keeping an eye out for an aggressive bear?


I wonder if I and II are alive and if so, what they think of III?


If we had better knife control laws, these sorts of incidents wouldn't happen.


Thank God he didn't have a pistol!


Its unfortunate the employees weren't allowed to have pistols.


Safeway, and two restaurants. If there were no knives there would be no knife crime. At least ban assault knives.


"At least ban assault knives."....would those include machetes? Wasn't there a machete attack in Frederick a couple of years ago?


I wonder if this was the same guy who robbed the Pollo Campero on the Golden Mile and the Safeway in Middletown?


There once was a scoundrel named Trey
whose scare couldn't bear pepper spray
and post-apprehension
remains in detention
awaiting a hearing in May.


God Bless you, armillary! I marvel at your talent with the written word. Please post more often. Stay safe!!!!


What a work of art!!




The dutches daughter employee is a hero, great job kid!!


👍 Truth


Did the officers not bring pepper spray? Was this "pretend to be a ranger day"?




For once, the judge used a brain and did not release the criminal on bail.

dancing donna

I was thinking the same thing. Now is not the time to let out the desperate non-law abiding people.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. No vulgar, racist, sexist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.
Be civil. Don't threaten. Don't lie. Don't bait. Don't degrade others.
No trolling. Stay on topic.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
No deceptive names. Apparently misleading usernames are not allowed.
Say it once. No repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link for abusive posts.

Thank you for reading!

Already a member?

Login Now
Click Here!

Currently a News-Post subscriber?

Activate your membership at no additional charge.
Click Here!

Need more information?

Learn about the benefits of membership.
Click Here!

Ready to join?

Choose the membership plan that fits your needs.
Click Here!