Crime Report: Capitol Police Officer Indicted for Georgetown Incident; Metrobus Stabbing
By June 6, 2022 0 1034•
In a bizarre case, a U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officer was indicted on six counts, including federal civil rights charges after allegedly engaging in an unauthorized high-speed chase with two motorcyclists and crashing into one of them in Georgetown at the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and M Street NW. After seriously injuring the motorcyclist, the officer fled the scene.
According to prosecutors who released the June 3 indictment, USCP officer Thomas Smith, 44, falsified paperwork to cover up his involvement in the crash and lied to his commanding officer about his knowledge of the 11:30 a.m., June 20, 2020, incident seen by witnesses.
Prosecutors say Smith “followed closely behind [the] vehicles at a high rate of speed” before he swerved his marked patrol car into one of the motorcycles, sending the driver flying into the air,” according to Associated Press reports.
USCP guidelines prohibit officers from pursuits outside the grounds of the U.S. Capitol without a supervisor’s permission. According to the indictment, Smith failed to seek approval for the pursuit nor alert dispatchers he was involved in the chase.
In a shocking detail, Smith is accused in the indictment of leaving the crash victim in the roadway and “knowingly [driving] away from the scene of the crash without rendering aid, alerting medical authorities, [or] taking any other reasonable steps to obtain help for the victim.”
Smith is expected to be arraigned in federal court in the next week, prosecutors said. USCP have suspended him without pay pending the outcome of the criminal case and an internal investigation, AP reported.
“The public’s trust is critical for any law enforcement agency and integrity is the most important quality for any law enforcement officer,” U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said.
Meanwhile, near the National Cathedral, residents were shocked at news of the Friday, June 3, Metrobus stabbing of an onboard rider near Wisconsin Avenue and Newark Streets NW, sending the victim to the hospital with serious stab wounds.
DC Metro spokesperson Sherri Ly told the Washington Post the stabbing which occurred around 3:20 p.m. Friday, June 3, on the 33 bus, number 4602, followed a “verbal altercation” that “turned physical.” The bus normally operates between the Friendship Heights and Federal Triangle areas.
A woman interviewed by NBC News 4, said the suspect was “behaving erratically” and talked about “committing acts of violence,” according to WTOP’s Rick Massimo. “He was a middle-aged guy ranting, and everybody thought he was just off,” the woman said.
Conflicting reports have been made about the nature of the victim’s stabbing wounds, however. According to News 4’s Jackie Benson report at 9:31 a.m. on June 4, Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA) reported the victim was “stabbed in the neck.” However, according to Fox News Perris Jones’s 10:20 p.m. report that same day, witnesses reported seeing the victim stabbed about the lower right abdomen. According to WMATA, the victim is in “stable condition.” On Fox News, however, Jones reported the victim’s wounds to be “serious.” Witnesses reported “passengers rushing off the bus” during the stabbing, Jones said.
Metro Transit Police closed off sidewalks, spoke to potential witnesses and “downloaded the bus’s camera to see if it had images of the suspect,” according to News 4. Police closed off the parking deck of the Giant grocery store at Cathedral Commons after witnesses reported “seeing a man rushing there just after the stabbing.” An officer also “took a battering ram into an adjoining residential building after a report the suspect may have been seen on the roof.”
According to DC Metro authorities, the “investigation is ongoing to identify the suspect and motive in the assault.” No description of the suspect has yet been released, News 4 reported.
“There are still actually blood stains on the bus right now,” Jones reported from in front of the Metrobus, following police departure from the scene. “Authorities are still trying to find the suspect and figure out why [he] did this in the first place… Some of the [area residents] are quite concerned because a lot of students ride on this route and it also just happens to be a high-trafficked area with lots of restaurants, grocery stores, apartments and homes as well. Many people we have heard from tonight, who live in the area or work in the area, tell me they’re in shock over this and just fed up with all the violence lately.”
“It’s a tragedy, you know. Someone was hurt maybe very badly. It seems like an everyday occurrence where there’s some violence. But, thank God it was just a knife. I mean, it’s a terrible event, but if this person had a semi-automatic weapon it could have been multiple, multiple” victims, David Nam, a nearby bike shop employee told Jones.