State's attorney to turn over case involving officers

September 20, 1990|By Michael J. Clark | Michael J. Clark,Howard County Bureau of The Sun

The Howard County state's attorney asked a Circuit Court judge yesterday to appoint a special prosecutor to handle assault and battery charges brought against two police officers by a man whom sources said has worked as an informant for prosecutors.

Ivan Burrell of Randallstown filed charges against Officers Vic Riemer and Steve Stanton, alleging that they assaulted him after responding to a distress call from a trooper who had stopped Mr. Burrell's car about 11:30 p.m. April 7 near Route 103 and Columbia Pike in Ellicott City.

He accused Officer Stanton of twisting his left arm, even after he told him it was disabled, and alleged that both officers hit him after he was handcuffed.

"Mr. Burrell is pretty well known by our assistants so in order to have an honest and fair hearing of the case I have asked the court to appoint a special assistant state's attorney," said William R. Hymes, the state's attorney.

Sources in the state's attorney's office said Mr. Burrell has worked closely with prosecutors as an informant in several criminal cases.

Mr. Hymes said the special prosecutor would have to decide whether to let a grand jury review the allegations or to try the case in District Court.

The state's attorney's normal policy has been to have charges filed by citizens against police officers reviewed by a grand jury to decide whether there is enough evidence for a trial.

County police said that Mr. Burrell also has filed a brutality complaint against the officersand that the department has it under investigation.

Clarke F. Ahlers, an attorney for Officer Riemer, maintained there is "no basis" to the complaint and criminal charge against the officers by Mr. Burrell.

The county also is investigating a complaint that Officer Reimer used excessive force in January when arresting two Columbia brothers at a Jessup motel. That complaint was filed by Mickey Bowie and his brother Jonathan, who later was found hanged in a death ruled a suicide.

A grand jury declined to bring criminal charges against Officer Riemer in that case.

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