Former Annapolis and Baltimore police officer indicted

He faced manslaughter and drunken-driving charges in fatal crash in Baltimore

August 08, 2011|By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun

A former Annapolis and Baltimore police officer is facing manslaughter and drunken-driving charges in a car crash last year that left one man dead.

James Salyers, 52, of Gambrills was indicted last week by a Baltimore grand jury in the October death of Andrew Arnold-McCoy 19, of Glen Burnie, according to court records. He is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 9 in Baltimore City Circuit Court.

Charges against Salyers in the 10-count indictment include running a red light and speeding, according to court records. Reached by telephone, Salyers referred calls to his lawyer, Andrew I. Alperstein.

"The fault of the accident remains very much in dispute," Alperstein said. "There is evidence that refutes the state's theory of the case." He declined to discuss details.

About 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 3, Arnold-McCoy was a passenger in a vehicle that collided with a car driven by Salyers, police said. Arnold-McCoy was thrown from the vehicle and died that night at Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Salyers was off duty at the time and was driving his personal vehicle, police said.

Salyers turned himself in shortly after he learned a warrant had been issued for him and was released on his own recognizance Wednesday, Alperstein said.

Alperstein said his client retired from the Baltimore Police Department as a detective before going to work with the Annapolis police and had a "long career of helping other people." Salyers had spent the last eight of his 281/2 years with the Baltimore department in the executive protection detail for Mayors Martin O'Malley, Sheila Dixon and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, according to Alperstein.

Salyers, who joined the Annapolis Police Department in late August 2010, resigned this past Aug. 1, said Sgt. Beth Nelson, a spokeswoman for the Annapolis department. He had been on administrative duty since the crash.

Police have said that Arnold-McCoy was riding with Philip Dornberger, 19, of Pasadena, whose vehicle was heading east on Patapsco Avenue. It collided with a Cadillac CTS that was being driven south on Potee Street by Salyers, according to police.

The city police crash team did not investigate because members were attending the Monday morning funeral of Officer James Fowler at St. Mark Church in Catonsville. A crash team from the Maryland Transportation Authority investigated instead.

After the accident, Arnold-McCoy's father, Michael Schearer, expressed frustration, saying police did not tell the family how the crash happened or that an officer was involved until almost a week later.

A city police spokesman said at the time that the delay in relaying information to the family was caused by the need to transfer paperwork between the two agencies.

In an email, Schearer said Monday he had no comment on the indictment.

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