Montgomery County Police have confirmed an off-duty county police officer’s involvement in a traffic dispute on the campus Saturday, in which he reportedly pulled a weapon on an individual.
For now, University Police are in charge of determining what occurred in the Saturday afternoon incident, in which an officer allegedly struck a man with his car in Lot 1 and then drew his weapon to subdue an individual on the scene, Montgomery County Police spokesman Capt. Paul Starks said. Montgomery County Police Internal Affairs will then decide whether disciplinary action is necessary.
“Clearly there’s allegations from both sides,” Starks said. “When that investigation is complete, or close to complete, then our [Internal Affairs] will determine if any of our departmental rules have been violated.”
Montgomery County Police have not suspended or disciplined the officer involved in the incident, Starks said, and University Police spokesman Capt. Marc Limansky declined to identify the individual in question because the department did not make any arrests.
University Police responded to a call Saturday afternoon to assist the off-duty cop involved in a dispute with two men, aged 30 and 31. The individuals were reportedly walking in Lot 1 when the officer allegedly struck one man with his car mirror, who in response reportedly threw his water bottle onto the windshield of the officer’s Honda Civic.
The off-duty officer reportedly drew his weapon to subdue one of the individuals until police arrived, though the events that prompted the officer to take action are unclear based on statements taken on the scene, Limansky said.
No injuries were reported and the individuals cooperated with the off-duty officer until police arrived. University Police conducted a field sobriety test and determined the off-duty cop was not intoxicated at the time of the incident.
An off-duty officer is allowed to draw his weapon under certain circumstances, according to Starks.
“If an officer feels that he is threatened or someone else is threatened, there are circumstances where he can draw his service revolver,” he said.
One witness said the officer seemed belligerent and overly aggressive, but according to Limanksy, the statements taken on the scene conflict with each other. University Police plan to view video evidence and speak again with witnesses in order to paint a clearer picture of the incident.
“We’ll look at any video and interview witnesses,” Limansky said. “If we believe there was a crime committed [on either side], we will file charges.”