Man Struck and Killed By Police Vehicle on Beltway after Fleeing Getaway Van During Chase

Police arrested five other men after alleged robbery at Wheaton check-cashing business


Published:

Police and fire vehicles block traffic on the inner loop of I-495 after a reported police chase

Maryland Traffic Cameras

Updated - Monday, 7 a.m. - A man was struck and killed by an unmarked Montgomery County police cruiser in Prince George’s County on Friday after he exited a getaway van and attempted to cross the Beltway following a police chase.

Montgomery County police spokesman Rick Goodale said police received a call around 12:30 p.m. about multiple armed men robbing the Check Cashing Depot on Georgia Avenue in Wheaton. He said employees told police the men fled in a white van.

An officer in an unmarked vehicle spotted the van in Takoma Park and chased it. Officers followed the vehicle on the Beltway into Prince George’s County. Near the U.S. 1 exit the van collided with another vehicle. One of the men, the driver, fled the van and was struck by an unmarked cruiser, according to Goodale. Police later identified the driver as Juan Carlos Gomez, 37, of an unconfirmed address.

Police arrested four other men at the scene—including two after a brief foot pursuit—and recovered multiple firearms. In all, five men were charged in the robbery—Miguel Ayala-Rivera, 23; Marcio Roney Avila-Castro, 21; Yeruin Romero-Rivera, 21; Juan Ramirez-Delgado, 34 and Edwin Geovanny Zelaya-Ramirez, 17, who was charged as an adult. The men's addresses couldn't be immediately confirmed, according to police.

Police said the officer involved in the collision was Sergeant William Thomas, a 24-year veteran, who was placed on paid administrative leave, as is protocol, during the investigation.

The inner loop of the Beltway was closed for about two hours, before lanes began to open up around 3:30 p.m.

Maryland State Police are investigating the fatal crash.

Police are also investigating the possibility the men may have been involved in two other armed robberies in September of a gas station and food truck in which five armed men took an undisclosed amount of cash from the businesses, according to Goodale.

Police later charged Ayala-Rivera with armed robbery in the Sept. 22 robbery of an Exxon gas station at 12245 Veirs Mill Road.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available

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