No criminal charges planned against city officer He shot robbery suspect in county while off duty

January 07, 1998|By Dail Willis | Dail Willis,SUN STAFF

No criminal charges will be brought against a Baltimore police officer who shot and wounded a robbery suspect in Baltimore County, a deputy state's attorney said yesterday.

Still pending is a Baltimore Police Department investigation of the Oct. 15 shooting by Officer Lennie E. Mungo, who was off duty at the time.

He will remain on routine administrative leave until the review is complete, said Agent Ragina L. Cooper, a city police spokeswoman.

"There is no evidence to indicate a basis for criminal charges," Sue Schenning, a Baltimore County deputy state's attorney, said yesterday. "The facts indicate to me that this police officer believed that this person was involved in a robbery. He took the steps he needed to take to protect himself."

According to a police report, Mungo -- who was not in uniform or driving a police car -- was driving past a pharmacy and liquor store at Edmondson Avenue and Harlem Lane about 1: 30 p.m. Oct. 15 when store employees, who knew him, flagged him down. They told him a man had taken a bottle of Smirnoff Red Label vodka off the shelf, stuck it in his trousers and pushed past the clerk without paying, the report said.

The employees described the man to Mungo, who drove north on Harlem Lane looking for him. As Mungo turned into the driveway of a large apartment complex on Harlem, a man identified by police as Gregory V. Getzendanner, 32, of the 400 block of Misty Wood Way ran out of a wooded area.

Mungo got out of his car, identified himself as a police officer, ordered the man to the ground and drew his police-issued 9 mm Glock, according to a police report of the incident. Getzendanner initially complied but then began to argue and reach for his waistband, the report said.

"The suspect began to question Mungo's authority and began to get up," the report said. "The suspect next grabbed for the officer's gun, turned and kicked him in the chest. The officer fired two shots at the suspect, who next jumped up and ran off. Mungo states he was sure he struck the suspect because he was holding his side."

Getzendanner ran to an apartment in the complex, where police arrested him a short time later. He was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center for treatment of a bullet wound in his back.

He has been released and charged with theft and robbery.

Pub Date: 1/07/98

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