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.