Man guilty of shooting police officer Fracas follows jury's verdict

February 06, 1993|By Glenn Small | Glenn Small,Staff Writer

A 23-year-old Baltimore man had to be wrestled to the floor in Baltimore County Circuit Court Thursday night after hearing a jury foreman say he was guilty of the attempted first-degree murder of a county police officer.

"I'm not guilty," shouted Timothy Alan "Dog" Braswell. "I didn't do it. I didn't do it, mom."

Four sheriff's deputies struggled with Braswell, who was sprayed with Mace and taken from the courtroom before hearing that he'd also been convicted of using a handgun.

Judge Dana M. Levitz ordered a presentence report on Braswell's background and scheduled sentencing for March 30. Braswell faces a maximum of life imprisonment plus 20 years.

The jury of six men and six women deliberated for nine hours -- until 10 p.m. Thursday night -- before agreeing that Braswell tried to kill Officer Peter Hanlon on Sept. 6.

The shooting occurred as Officer Hanlon, 30, a 4 1/2 -year veteran of the force, sat in his marked police car parked at the Northbrook Apartments in Hillendale.

According to trial testimony, Officer Hanlon had stopped by an apartment in the complex, after receiving a complaint about a party and a loud stereo.

Witnesses from the party testified that Braswell asked for someone's gun and said, "I'm going to go out and kill that cop," and also said, "I've always wanted to cap a cop."

About 12:30 a.m., Braswell walked up behind the car, pulled a .357-caliber Magnum from his waistband and started blazing away.

Officer Hanlon ducked down to the passenger side of his car and drove off, but not before two bullets hit him in the back. His bulletproof vest stopped those bullets, though a fragment from one lodged in his left forearm. He has since recovered.

Although Officer Hanlon identified Braswell as the man who shot him, Braswell's attorney, Daniel M. Shemer, said the officer couldn't have seen who shot him because it was too dark.

"He couldn't have seen the person who committed this crime," said Mr. Shemer, who called the three state witnesses who tied Braswell to the shooting "a pack of perjurers."

S. Ann Brobst, an assistant state's attorney, argued that since Officer Hanlon was seated under a street light, he could watch the gunman approach from a distance of 20 feet.

Officer Hanlon testified that he studied the gunman's face, trying to figure out who was walking up to his car.

As the gunman neared the car's rear bumper, he pulled the weapon from his waistband and fired.

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