Homicide commander cleared in accident, won't face charges

Major still faces administrative review

March 11, 2011|By Peter Hermann, The Baltimore Sun

The commander of the Baltimore Police Department's homicide unit will not face criminal charges or be ticketed for abandoning his unmarked cruiser on the side of Interstate 95 after he slid off a rain-slicked road Sunday, according to the Maryland State Police.

Maj. Terrence P. McLarney had been suspended after the March 6 incident. A city police spokesman said the commander is now back on partial duty — allowed to run the administrative functions of his 70-detective office, but without his police powers.

Maj. David Engel has been temporarily named the unit's "operational commander." McLarney, a 34-year veteran, still faces an administrative review to determine whether he violated departmental rules when he failed to report the accident.

Authorities said that McLarney had been working several weekend homicides and was driving south on I-95 when his cruiser went off an exit ramp to westbound Route 32 and slid down an embankment. Maryland State Police spokesman Gregory M. Shipley said at the time that the 2006 Ford Taurus hit brush and had minor damage to the bumper.

It is a violation to leave the scene of an accident with property damage. But in a statement released Friday, Shipley said McLarney told investigators that a car in front of him began swerving and that he "braked hard and his vehicle began to slide and left the roadway."

The statement also says that "what was earlier reported as minor damage to the front bumper of the vehicle may have been sustained previously and not when the car left the road." The statement does not address why McLarney did not report the accident and left his car, which was found hours later by a state trooper.

Shipley said in the statement that Howard County State's Attorney Dario J. Broccolino reviewed the case and decided against filing charges.

peter.hermann@baltsun.com.

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