Ex-officer sentenced to 4 years for beating Victim also due restitution

June 24, 1993|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

A former Washington, D.C., police officer was sentenced to four years in prison yesterday for assaulting a man at a Harwood home so severely that he was hospitalized for several days.

Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. also ordered Aaron Sullivan, 22, formerly of Harwood, to serve five years' probation and pay $5,225 in restitution to the victim, Donald Brooks, 20, of Dunkirk.

Sullivan, who apparently believed Mr. Brooks had been harassing his fiancee, pleaded guilty to assault with intent to maim on April 26. The attack on Mr. Brooks, at a home owned by the victim's cousin, occurred Oct. 18, 1992.

According to court records, police were called about 7:30 a.m. to the home of Robert Lee Bowen of the 1500 block of Flanders Lane in Harwood because of a disturbance.

Sullivan, who lived part time at the house, had come home and gotten into a fight with Mr. Brooks after getting a call from his fiancee, Martha Martinez, a District of Columbia police officer who also lived there, according to the statement.

Sullivan's attorney, Joel Katz, told Judge Thieme yesterday that his client was provoked into attacking Mr. Brooks, having been told by Ms. Martinez that he had crawled into her bed and made repeated sexual remarks and advances.

"He warned Mr. Brooks on the phone, saying, 'I'm on my way over there, and you'd better not be there when I get there,' " Mr. Katz said.

Mr. Brooks' mother, Nancy Brooks, said yesterday that her son never made any sexual advances. She said he was at a party at the house and got so drunk that he crawled into Ms. Martinez's bed -- by mistake -- to go to sleep. He left her bed immediately and fell asleep elsewhere when he realized what he had done, she said.

"She came out of the bedroom and said, 'There's a guy in my bed, and I can't get him out.' Everyone at the party heard it, and it was like a big joke," Mrs. Brooks said.

Mrs. Brooks said Sullivan hit her son with his riot baton nine times, including five blows to the head. He was left to lie, bloodied and unconscious, on the front lawn until police arrived. He was then rushed to Calvert Memorial Hospital, where he spent a week in critical condition, she said.

Mr. Brooks is still under a neurologist's care and takes medication to avoid seizures, she said.

"He's not here today because he's still petrified of this guy," Mrs. Brooks said.

In a separate case, Sullivan has pleaded guilty to charges of distribution of cocaine.

On April 29, he tried to sell 54 grams of cocaine for $2,000 to a buyer working for the police in the 1500 block of Maryland Ave. in Northeast Washington.

A police search of Sullivan's apartment in Alexandria, Va., after his arrest on the drug charge turned up 104 grams of cocaine valued at $15,000, according to court records.

A three-year veteran of the police force, Sullivan resigned in the wake of the criminal charges, Mr. Katz said.

The lawyer said yesterday that Sullivan faces eight to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced in the fall on the drug charge in D.C. Superior Court.

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