Work release escapees lead police on car chase

March 27, 2008 2:51:26 PM PDT
Jeffrey Rainier, 25, of Milford, and Edward Brittingham, 50, of Wilmington, who absconded from a Sussex County Half Way House, led officers on a vehicle pursuit that started on Route 13 at Memorial Drive and ended in Chelsea Estates. On todays date, at approximately 2:02 p.m., a Trooper was traveling on Route 13 when he looked over and saw the clerk of the Minquadale Liquors chasing two subjects from his store. The two thieves got into a white pick up truck, with a University of Delaware ensignia on the side, and fled on Route 13 northbound. They apparently just stole a case of beer.

The Trooper attempted to stop the truck which fled onto Memorial Drive. The vehicle was found to have been stolen from the Milford area earlier in the morning. The bandits led officers on a chase that made its way back to Route 13 and then onto Route 141 southbound. The passenger was lobbing cans of beer at the officers from the fleeing truck.

At Jay Drive, the driver of the truck, Ranier, rammed a marked police cruiser. The suspect vehicle then fled into Chelsea Estates where it turned onto Morris Drive. The suspect vehicle was then headed directly toward an innocent bystander who was in a passenger car. The Trooper who was initially struck by the truck at Jay Drive, saw this innocent party and drove his patrol car into the truck, protecting this third party.

Officers then converged in on the disabled truck. The occupants in the truck fought to the very end. A New Castle County Police officer used his departmentally issued Taser to help take Rainier into custody. Brittingham was also successfully handcuffed. The crooks are currently at Troop 2 where this investigation continues.

Charges will include traffic offenses and criminal offenses including Reckless Endangering (felony). Bail information is not available at this time as their processing continues.