An off-duty Hyattsville, Maryland, police officer has been indicted on charges of assault and brandishing a gun while allegedly arguing with a group of teenagers at a Howard County apartment complex’s pool.
Prosecutors claim 29-year-old Mitchell Joseph Lowery, a private first class with the Hyattsville Police Department, was involved in an argument with teens while off-duty at a pool in the 12000 block of Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia on July 13.
“It is alleged that during the argument, Lowery brandished a handgun to the teenagers,” prosecutors said in a news release. Hyattsville police were made aware that Lowery was under investigation for assault, and immediately suspended him from duty.
Lowery’s defense attorney Robert Bonsib said his client has cooperated with police, and will challenge the allegations at trial.
“The night of the incident, Officer Lowery was totally cooperative, and gave a full and honest statement of his conduct that evening, which was not criminal in any sense,” Bonsib told WTOP.
Since the case was indicted by a grand jury, Bonsib has yet to review evidence gathered by prosecutors.
“Officer Lowery, who last year was the Officer of the Year, strongly contests these charges, and his hopeful of returning to his position in serving the community,” Bonsib said.
Lowery was indicted on Sept. 2 by a Howard County grand jury, on seven counts of first-degree assault and one count of using a handgun during the commission of a crime of violence. The statutory maximum for a first-degree assault conviction is 25 years in prison.
He was released on bond according to court records, pending his initial appearance in Circuit Court on Oct. 16.