Upper Marlboro, MD – A Prince George’s County police corporal was suspended without pay after he was indicted on assault charges in connection with the arrest of a 17-year-old boy.
Prince George’s State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy announced the charges against Prince George’s County Corporal Darryl Wormuth on April 28 in connection with an incident that occurred in front of a Suitland apartment building on Oct. 20, 2020, WJLA reported.
Braveboy said Cpl. Wormuth, a decorated, 14-year veteran of the police force, stands accused of having used excessive force when he detained the teen.
“It is alleged officer Wormuth grabbed the victim by the neck and assaulted him while he was in handcuffs,” she said.
The 17 year old was not injured during the incident, nor was he arrested, WJLA reported.
Two other Prince George’s County officers who were on the scene reported the incident to supervisors and said they felt Cpl. Wormuth had used excessive force.
Officials launched an investigation and Cpl. Wormuth’s police powers were suspended with pay six days later, according to WRC.
The police department referred the incident to the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office for consideration of criminal charges.
Prince George’s County Interim Police Chief Hector Velez sang the praises of the officers who had come forward with the complaint against Cpl. Wormuth, WRC reported.
“I support and commend the officers who stepped forward to report this incident,” Chief Velez said in a statement. “I encourage and expect all officers who witness any potential wrongdoing to do the same.”
The state’s attorney also credited the officers with making the case for prosecutors, WRC reported.
“We have a very strong case, and that’s in large part due to the officers who came forward, and we want to thank them,” Braveboy said.
But sources told WRC that not everyone was happy with the two officers who turned in Cpl. Wormuth.
Now-retired Prince George’s County Police Lieutenant Edward Scott Finn and at least two other officials are under investigation for allegedly telling other officers not to back up the cops who had turned in Cpl. Wormuth.
Lt. Finn had a security company that employed Cpl. Wormuth, WRC reported.
The investigation into alleged retaliation against the two officers who reported Cpl. Wormuth led to an investigation of the lieutenant’s security company.
Lt. Finn had been suspended with pay in March on an unrelated matter, but the department changed the status to an unpaid suspension because of the pending criminal charges related to his side business, The Washington Post reported.
He was arrested and charged with federal tax evasion on April 23.
Lt. Finn retired from the police department after 25 years with full benefits on April 26, WRC reported.
The Prince George’s County Police Department confirmed that Cpl. Wormuth had been charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, and misconduct in office.
He turned himself in and was released on a $10,000 bond, The Washington Post reported.
His status was changed to suspended without pay due to the pending charges, WRC reported.
Braveboy wouldn’t say if there were other ongoing investigations related to the investigation of Cpl. Wormuth.
Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced the resignation of Public Safety Director Mark Magaw, WRC reported.
Alsobrooks also announced the retirement of Prince George’s County Police Commander Kathleen Mills, who headed up the Internal Affairs Division, and said Chief Velez would be retiring in May.
There is also video of the incident and Robert Bonsib, attorney for Cpl. Wormuth, said it will put things in context, The Washington Post reported.
“This incident was captured on a police helicopter video and shows Cpl. Wormuth taking custody of a suspect who had just fled from police after a police investigation that resulted in the seizure of a firearm,” Bonsib explained. “The contact at issue lasted less than 2 seconds and was a proper and necessary brief use of force to secure the custody of the suspect.”