Arundel officer indicted in attempted extortion

August 02, 1994|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Sun Staff Writer

A former "Officer of the Year" was indicted yesterday in Anne Arundel County in the attempt to extort $500 from a man he suspected had committed a sex offense.

Officer Gregory William Overstreet, 31, was indicted by grand jury on four counts of extortion and one count each of bribery and misconduct in office.

The charges stem from an incident that allegedly occurred last month at Queenstown Park.

Officer Overstreet, who has been with the department for nine years, won the department's silver star and a purple heart after he was shot twice while making a drug arrest in 1991.

He also received an "Officer of the Year" award from the Western District and a citation from Gov. William Donald Schaefer for making more than 180 drunk driving arrests in a single year, said his attorney, Peter S. O'Neill.

On July 20, he tried to extort $500 from a man he accused of fondling himself in the park, according to court papers.

The Police Department began an internal affairs investigation after a member of the man's family called July 21 to complain, said Sgt. Robert Johnson, a county police spokesman.

When the man asked for time to get the money, Officer Overstreet replied that the incident would be forgotten if the money was received by the next day, Sergeant Johnson said.

Internal affairs detectives put an envelope containing a $100 bill under the trash can, about 1 p.m. July 22, and staked out the park.

Officer Overstreet allegedly showed up shortly before 3 p.m., took the envelope to his police car and left the park, Sergeant Johnson said.

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