Man guilty in attack on policeman

December 14, 1993|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff Writer

A man who was shot six times after attacking a Howard County patrolman with the officer's pepper Mace while high on PCP pleaded guilty to battery in Circuit Court yesterday.

David Scott Shipley, 25, of Baltimore, could be sentenced up to nine years in prison for the April 29 incident as part of the plea agreement entered before Judge Cornelius Sybert Jr.

Officer Patrick McDonald, who was at yesterday's hearing, shot Shipley to subdue him during a confrontation in the parking lot of the Columbia Junction shopping center in Jessup.

"There was a fight that started," said Senior Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Murtha, who prosecuted the case. "The defendant was making an attempt to get Officer McDonald's gun."

Deputy Public Defender Louis Willemin, who is representing Shipley, said his client has no recollection of the incident.

Shipley, who spent about five weeks in the hospital, was initially charged with theft, assault, battery and resisting arrest. All but the battery charge were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Judge Sybert will sentence Shipley on Feb. 8, pending a report by the county Department of Parole and Probation.

Mr. Murtha said he will seek a maximum of nine years for Shipley, while Mr. Willemin said he will ask for a lenient sentence. Battery carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The altercation happened after Officer McDonald was called to a flower shop at Columbia Junction to answer a complaint that Shipley had stolen medication from an employee, Mr. Murtha said.

Officer McDonald, realizing that Shipley may have been under the influence of PCP, escorted Shipley from the shop and began questioning him, Mr. Murtha said.

Shipley fled when Officer McDonald went to inspect a pickup he was operating after a bystander informed him that the vehicle may have been stolen, Mr. Murtha said.

The patrolman caught Shipley behind the shopping center, where the fight started in which the defendant tried to get Officer McDonald's gun, Mr. Murtha said.

Both men fell to the ground and Shipley struck the Officer McDonald several times in his face as he laid on top of the patrolman, Mr. Murtha said. He also struck the officer with an ammunition clip he grabbed from his belt.

Then, Shipley grabbed Officer McDonald's can of pepper Mace and sprayed the patrolman, temporarily blinding him, the prosecutor said.

Officer McDonald stood up, drew his service weapon and fired at Shipley when the defendant refused to heed his warnings and continued to spray the patrolman, Mr. Murtha said. Shipley was shot in his arms, legs, abdomen and chest.

Mr. Murtha noted that Shipley continued the struggle when other police officers arrived at the scene and attempted to arrest him. He also resisted the paramedics trying to treat him for his injuries.

A Howard County grand jury refused to indict Officer McDonald when it reviewed the incident in June. Instead of indicting him, they gave the officer a standing ovation for his actions.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.