An undercover Howard County detective filed a $4.3 million suit yesterday against three Columbia men who have been charged criminally with robbing and severely beating him in a drug deal that went amiss.
The police officer took the unusual action of suing the people he claims assaulted him because "he wanted to send a strong message that it is not an acceptable kind of conduct to beat and kick any citizen," said his attorney, Clarke F. Ahlers.
The 26-year-old officer, Michael J. Oles 3rd, who has been on the county force 2 1/2 years, was hospitalized for a day and missed seven weeks of work in recovering from his wounds to his left eye and head.
He was beaten, kicked and struck in the head with a wooden club in the Aug. 21 incident near a bike and pedestrian path in Columbia's Thunder Hill neighborhood. One of the assailants held a gun to the base of his skull during the incident, and the officer was robbed of cash, drugs and a watch.
The detective's suit asserts that he was to buy drugs from one of the three defendants and that the other two "were lying in wait" to rob and murder him.
Named as defendants in both the criminal case and the detective's suit are David Sean Alston, 21, of the 9200 block of Creek Bed Court, who is detained at the county jail in Jessup in lieu of $500,000 bond; Milton Dwayne Bullock of the 5200 block of Wood Stove Lane; and Christopher Paul Young of the 5200 block of Thunder Hill Road.
All three are awaiting criminal trials on charges of armed robbery, conspiracy, assault with intent to rob and assault with intent to murder in connection with the attack on the undercover detective and another Columbia man, who was an informant.
Mr. Bullock said he had no comment about the detective's suit; the other two defendants could not be reached for comment.