A Delmar police officer and an elderly couple were attacked April 25, police say, by a 30-year-old Delmar man who sent two of them to a shock trauma center in Baltimore.
Cpl. Keith Heacook, a 1986 graduate of Cape Henlopen High School, remains in critical condition in the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center intensive care unit suffering from head injuries following an assault by Randon D. Wilkerson.
An elderly woman, 76, was also sent to the Baltimore trauma center for a related assault that happened before Heacook was attacked. Her husband, 73, was taken to an area hospital. Master Cpl. Gary Fournier of the Delaware State Police said he did not have an update on the elderly couple, but said they are in everyone’s thoughts. “They experienced a very traumatic incident in their own home,” he said.
Delmar police were called at 5:12 a.m. to a home on Buckingham Drive in Yorkshire Estates where Wilkerson was fighting with residents and destroying items in the home, according to court documents.
Moments later, Fournier said, 911 received a separate call from a neighbor across the street who said he and his wife had been assaulted by a man who had already left his home.
Responding to the first reported fight, Heacook was met by Wilkerson who physically confronted Heacook inside the home, Fournier said. During this time, dispatchers tried to check on Heacook, and when they received no response, additional officers were dispatched.
A Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office deputy and a Delaware State Police trooper arrived on scene and found Heacook face down, unconscious, and surrounded by a pool of blood inside the home, according to court documents.
A resident of the home told police that she saw a uniformed police officer lying face down on the living room floor while Wilkerson stood above him. “The female resident stated she witnessed the accused/Wilkerson lift his foot and leg up directly over top of [the officer's] head, and slam his foot down on his head repeatedly,” court documents state.
Officers from Laurel Police Department then arrived, Fournier said, and they pulled Heacook from the house to begin first aid until emergency medical services arrived. Heacook was transported to TidalHeath in Salisbury and then given a police escort to shock trauma in Baltimore, Fournier said.
While investigating the assault of the elderly couple across the street, Fournier said, police learned Wilkerson had knocked on the back door of that residence about 3 a.m. and was met by the 73-year-old male victim. Wilkerson told the man that there was a disturbance across the street, and when the man let him inside, court records state, Wilkerson punched the man in the face, knocking him to the ground. Wilkerson then grabbed a glass angel figurine, and struck the man in the face and head. Police searching the scene found several shattered angel figurines strewn across the floor.
“While assaulting, Randon stated, 'I'm going to kill you,'” according to court documents.
Wilkerson then assaulted the man's wife, 76, before walking out of the home through the front door.
The elderly couple sustained significant injuries and were transported by ambulance to TidalHealth Nanticoke Memorial Hospital. The woman was later transported to Shock Trauma in Baltimore where she is being treated for broken eye sockets, court records state.
Police still at the first residence observed Wilkerson walking around the rear of the property and took him into custody without incident. Wilkerson confessed to ingesting large amounts of illegal narcotics and alcohol and causing a disturbance, although he denied assaulting any police officer, court records state.
“Officers observed what appeared to be blood on his hands and forearms as well as small lacerations on both of his hands,” court documents state.
Wilkerson was transported to Troop 5 in Bridgeville where a medical professional tried to draw blood from him. “Wilkerson uttered that due to his extensive drug use, it was going to be difficult ... to draw blood from his veins,” court documents state.
The medical technician and police decided to try to draw blood from Wilkerson's foot, and they warned him if he tried to kick he would be charged. As the woman kneeled to extract blood from Wilkerson's foot, court records state, Wilkerson looked at the police officers and then used his left foot to kick the woman as she tried to draw blood.
Wilkerson was charged with first-degree attempted murder, two counts first-degree assault, two counts possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony, first-degree burglary, third-degree assault, offensive touching of a medical professional, and terroristic threatening. He was arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 3 and committed to Sussex Correctional Institution in default of $451,000 cash bond.
Delaware State Police is continuing the investigation into both events and is working with the Delmar Police Department, Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police, and all other involved agencies.
Delmar Police Department Chief Ivan Barkley said Heacook is a 22-year veteran and has been employed with the department since 1998. The Cape Henlopen School District confirmed that Heacook is a 1986 Cape High graduate.
“He is a husband, son, brother, and father. Keith is fighting for his life right now, and he needs your prayers along with the elderly couple who were also injured. Members from the Delmar Police appreciate the outpouring of community support as we continue to move forward,” he said. “We appreciate the support from the Delaware State Police, Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police, and all other agencies who responded and are assisting with this investigation.”
Delaware Attorney General Kathleen Jennings also issued a statement April 25.
“My heart is heavy tonight for three innocent victims: Cpl. Keith Heacook of the Delmar Police Department, who is being treated for grave injuries he suffered in an attack this morning, and an elderly couple who also suffered severe injuries at the hands of the same attacker,” she said. “DOJ personnel have been onsite in Delmar since this morning’s attack and are working with Delaware State and Delmar Police to ensure a successful prosecution. We will continue to monitor both the investigation itself and – with hope in our hearts – the condition of Cpl. Heacook and both civilian victims. These are the moments we all pray will never come. For the law enforcement community, the Town of Delmar, and the rest of our state, today is a bitter reminder of the daily danger our police officers willingly face so the rest of us don’t have to. We are praying for the victims and their families; tomorrow, and in the coming days, we’ll all work together to ensure that their attacker is brought to justice.”
Wilkerson is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Sussex County Court of Common Pleas at 10 a.m., Wednesday, April 28.