MD officer convicted of assault for striking suspect with cruiser

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PRINCE GEORGE’S CO., MD —  A jury found a Prince George’s County police officer guilty of striking a suspect with his cruiser last summer.

Officer Juan Hernandez could face a maximum of 10 years in prison for the 2nd degree assault conviction. However, the police department says Hernandez was not found guilty of misconduct in office.

“While it is never a good day when we have to prosecute one of our own, it is important that those we serve understand that we will hold people accountable when their actions go above and beyond what is necessary,” Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said.

Last June 13, Hernandez was one of two officers who responded to a call for an armed person and fight in the 800 block of Fairview Avenue.  As the first responding officer was patting down the inviduals, one of the three men being questioned ran away, police said. Investigators say Hernandez was pulling up to the scene when he saw the suspect running away and he was advised by another officer to pursue the man.

According to the State Attorney’s office during the pursuit, Hernandez hit the suspect with his cruiser. Shortly after, police say, the suspect was arrested and refused medical treatment saying he was not injured.

Hernandez’s sentencing is scheduled for July 28.

He has worked for the Prince George’s County Police Department for 11 years. The department says that now that the criminal proceedings are over the administrative process will move forward.