Investigation widens into why girl was shocked at MGM National Harbor

"The investigation up to this point has not found a single point of failure, and has not identified a single bad actor," Police Chief Hank Stawinski said at a Thursday afternoon news. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

PALMER PARK, Md. — Four months after a 6-year-old girl visiting MGM National Harbor suffered an electric shock, she remains hospitalized with
very serious injuries.

The girl was hurt June 26 after touching an outdoor handrail near a fountain.

And Prince George’s County Police are now shifting the focus of their investigation into why it happened.

“The investigation up to this point has not found a single point of failure, and has not identified a single bad actor,” Police Chief Hank Stawinski said at a Thursday afternoon news conference at police headquarters.

He said the investigation is widening to look at MGM National Harbor’s design, permitting, installation and inspection.

“The question we need to answer is: How did all of those elements get assembled so incorrectly as to lead to her injury?” said Stawinski. “I am not ruling out criminal responsibility.”

The chief was asked if police are looking at the possibility that public corruption played a role.

“The issue of public corruption has always been a part of our investigation. It’s not a new factor that we’re introducing into it, and the facts will take us where the facts take us,” he answered.

Stawinski says from the start of the investigation, his department has been receiving technical assistance from the FBI, and that will continue.

He’s not sure how long the investigation will take, and asked for the community’s patience.

“This is extraordinarily complex. This will take time,” he said.

“We will spare no resource in learning what happened to her,” added County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks. “We believe that she deserves answers, and her family deserves answers.”


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