Delaware State Police this week were seeking Joseph G. Tuono, 25, of Millsboro following an alleged assault on an off-duty United States federal air marshal on May 10.
Police said the 23-year-old air marshal, a New Jersey resident, told them she had spotted a silver Ford Escort that police now believe was being driven by Tuono late on Tuesday night, southbound on Long Neck Road, being driven in an erratic manner and at one point traveling off the road, almost striking a motorcycle, then continuing on at an unsafe speed.
The air marshal continued to follow Tuono, she reported, suspecting he might be driving under the influence of alcohol, and dialed 911 to have state troopers respond to the area. Tuono then reportedly pulled into the Pot Nets Cove Side development and stopped his vehicle on Pebble Drive.
The air marshal told police she pulled behind Tuono as he was exiting his vehicle, and that Tuono then approached the victim and began yelling profanities at her. Police said the victim identified herself as a U.S. air marshal and showed credentials verifying that.
According to the DSP, Tuono then fled back toward his vehicle and attempted to flee the scene, while the air marshal attempted to detain him. During that effort, she was struck an undetermined number of times in the abdominal area, police said, and sustained minor bruising but did not require medical assistance.
Police said Tuono then fled on foot into a nearby marsh, where state troopers and the state police helicopter searched for more than an hour after contacting the air marshal at the scene. They were unable to locate Tuono.
Delaware State Police obtained arrest warrant for Joseph G. Tuono, consisting of one count of Assault in the Second Degree (Intentionally Injuring a Law Enforcement Officer, Fireman, Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedic, Fire Police Officer, Fire Marshal, Correctional Officer, Sheriff Deputy, Sheriff or Code Enforcement Constable/Officer), which is a felony, and were actively seeking information on his whereabouts as of Wednesday, May 11.