Police officer fired for off-duty attack on city firefighter

March 19, 1991|By Roger Twigg

An off-duty Baltimore police officer who attacked an off-duty city firefighter in anger because of the way the firefighter parked near his house has been fired from the police force, according to officials.

Police Commissioner Edward V. Woods ordered Officer Randy R. Rogers, a nine-year veteran assigned to the Southern District, fired effective Feb. 20 for assaulting the firefighter and damaging his car in the dispute, which took place in Glen Burnie.

According to Michael A. Fry, an assistant city solicitor, the incident occurred Jan. 31 when Robert M. Messoria, a 20-year-old firefighter assigned to Engine 23, went to pick up his dog at a Ritchie Highway veterinarian with his girlfriend and his mother.

Mr. Messoria said he parked in an alley adjacent to the veterinarian shop, which was next to Officer Rogers' house. When Mr. Messoria emerged from the shop, he said, he was berated by Officer Rogers and his wife, who were standing on the porch, for having parked in the alley.

The firefighter said he rolled up the windows of his car and drove down the alley. As he did so, he said, he looked in his rearview mirror and saw the officer's wife running after him.

Mr. Messoria said he went around the block and was surprised to find that Officer Rogers had gone off in the opposite direction and was waiting for him. The officer broke the driver's window with his fist and attempted to pull him through the window.

Officer Rogers was charged by Anne Arundel County police with assault and battery, but Mr. Messoria agreed to allow the case to be held in abeyance in return for repairs to his car, Mr. Fry said.

The officer was also ordered to undergo alcohol counseling, Mr. Fry said.

Administrative charges were then lodged and a departmental trial board last month recommended that Officer Rogers be terminated. Commissioner Woods concurred.

Officer Rogers and his attorney could not be reached for comment.

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