Police injured in dispute

Family members accused of assaulting 3 officers in Fulton home

July 07, 2006|By MELISSA HARRIS | MELISSA HARRIS,SUN REPORTER

A Howard County police officer remains at home this week after being injured in a fight with three members of a Fulton family while responding to a 911 call for a domestic dispute at the home, Acting Chief William J. McMahon said yesterday.

The three family members were arrested and the eldest remained in jail yesterday, charged with multiple counts of first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and attempting to disarm an officer.

"[Domestic calls] are unpredictable and fraught with peril for a lot of reasons," McMahon said. "Everybody is emotionally charged. Sometimes there is substance or alcohol abuse involved. And we're often called there by one party whose feelings may change once we arrive and start taking action."

Charging documents state that during the nine-minute conflict, which began about 3 a.m. Sunday, Daniel Vaughn Greene, 48, of the 8100 block of Stabean Drive ripped a baton from the hands of one of three responding officers and threatened them with it. He also tried to remove officers' handguns from their holsters twice, threatening to kill them, according to court documents.

As the three officers tried to subdue Greene, his 19-year-old daughter and a 17-year-old boy stepped in, kicking and punching the officers, according to charging documents. Court documents state that members of the Greene family "punched," "kicked," and "bit" the officers, and "grabbed the throat" of one of them.

The officers, in turn, tried four times to place a martial-arts style chokehold - called a Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint - on Greene, which can render someone unconscious within seconds. Officers also repeatedly hit Greene with their batons and pointed their handguns at him, court records show. In a dramatic moment, Greene's daughter and the 17-year-old stepped in to prevent Greene from being shot, records state.

"Both Officer [Catherine] Cree and Officer [David] Patterson were pulling the triggers of their firearm when Kelly Greene and another white male ... stepped between the officers and Daniel Greene," charging documents state.

Greene's daughter, Kelly Marie Greene, of the same address, was charged with multiple counts of second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and interfering with an arrest. She and her father also were charged with intoxication, according to court records. The juvenile was charged with second-degree assault, Llewellyn said.

According to court records, Daniel Greene has been found guilty of drug and assault charges in the past. His wife, Laurie Greene, called 911 Sunday night and told police that her husband had punched her in the mouth.

Alex Sanchez, 18, of Laurel, who was at the home during the dispute, challenged the police account of the incident, accusing officers of continuing to hit Daniel Greene after he was handcuffed and his daughter after she repeatedly said that her hands were in the air and that she had stopped resisting.

"It was dark, and they walked in, didn't announce themselves as officers and didn't have their flashlights on," said Sanchez, who was in the basement at the start of the dispute. "He [Daniel Greene] probably wasn't aware that the homeowner had called police, and his first response was that they were intruders."

But Llewellyn said that two of the officers said that they "approached a screen door and yelled, `Howard County police'" and heard a woman yelling from the basement, "Get off me," and "Help." The third officer, Alexander Garthoff, arrived later.

All three officers were taken to Howard County General Hospital, where they were treated and released.

McMahon said that if Greene had taken control of the guns or used the baton, the situation could have turned deadly.

"If a person is being struck and calls police, they often don't realize that that means my husband, wife or live-in friend is going to be arrested - and they don't always want that to happen," McMahon said.

"We have a very aggressive pro-arrest policy for domestic violence incidents," he said. "If the caller doesn't want him to go to jail, that doesn't always factor into our decision."

Daniel Greene is being held without bail at the Howard County Detention Center. Kelly Greene posted $10,000 bond, according to records.

melissa.harris@baltsun.com

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