Baltimore officer drives cruiser over handcuffed teen

January 03, 1996|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

Baltimore City police are investigating an incident in which an officer accidentally drove over a handcuffed teen-ager last week, a department spokesman said yesterday.

"Clearly, this accident [was] preventable," said Agent Robert W. Weinhold Jr., a spokesman.

Officer Sean Patrick Mahoney, 28, assigned to the Southwestern District, was not charged with traffic violations and remains on duty. But an internal investigation into the incident is under way.

The 14-year-old, who was lying face down on the road, was not seriously injured. Police said he suffered bruises on his cheek and stomach and was treated at Harbor Hospital Center. He was not named because he faces juvenile charges of driving a car without the owner's consent, driving without a license and eluding police.

The incident began about 11:30 p.m. Friday when an officer pulled over a 1991 Nissan in the 1700 block of De Soto Road on the assumption that the driver was too young to have a license. Four other teen-agers were in the car.

After the car stopped, Officer Mahoney parked his cruiser diagonally across the road to block traffic. Officers ordered the youths out of the car, had them lie face down in the street and handcuffed them behind their backs.

Four of the arrested youths were led to a police van. Agent Weinhold said that Officer Mahoney got into his car and "observed who he thought was the last suspect being taken to the transport van."

He then pulled away and "felt a thump under his wheel and heard a loud scream," Agent Weinhold said. The officer stopped, got out and saw that "his right front tire was on top of the suspect." Police said the wheel rested on the teen's buttocks and thigh. Officers lifted the front of the car and moved the youth, Agent Weinhold said.

The four other youths who were in the car were not charged; police released them later that night.

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