Prince George's County police officer charged with assault in Baltimore

Michael O'Connell arrested after threatening to shoot man in front of city patrol officer, police say

  • Prince George's County Police officer Michael O'Connell was arrested in an assault case in Baltimore City.
Prince George's County Police officer Michael O'Connell… (Baltimore City Police Department )
September 23, 2014|By Justin George and Colin Campbell | The Baltimore Sun

An off-duty Prince George's County police officer was charged with second-degree assault and has been suspended from his job after Baltimore police said he threatened to shoot someone during an argument outside a Canton bar on Saturday.

Prince George's County Police said patrol officer Michael O'Connell, a three-year veteran, has been suspended with pay.

Baltimore police got a missing-person call at 2:44 a.m. to a bar in the 2900 block of O'Donnell St., according to the arrest report. There, they met O'Connell, 25, and a friend, who told police they were looking for the friend's girlfriend, who they said had gone missing during their night out at the bar.

O'Connell identified himself as a police officer and showed his badge to a city officer when asked, the report said.

Then two men walked by, and O'Connell's friend described his girlfriend to them and asked if they'd seen her. One of them responded, "I saw her leaving with a black guy," and the two laughed, police said.

O'Connell "got irate," the police report said, exchanging insults, telling the men, "I'm a cop," and threatening them several times, saying, "I will shoot."

As he did this, O'Connell reached for his right rear waistline as though he was grabbing the handle of a concealed weapon, and the men stopped, police said.

Seeing this, the city patrol officer got out of his car with his hand on his gun and yelled at the off-duty officer to "stand down!" the report said. He did, and the officer called for backup and arrested O'Connell — who turned out to be unarmed — without incident when more units arrived.

No one was injured. Baltimore police did not say whether O'Connell's friend's girlfriend was found.

Prince George's County police say their Special Investigation Response Team is investigating the incident and O'Connell faces an administrative hearing. He is scheduled to be in a Baltimore City District Court to face his criminal charge on Nov. 3, state court records show.

No attorney was listed in court records.

O'Connell lives in Bowie, according to court records.

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