PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. - A Prince George's County police officer has been indicted after prosecutors say he struck a suspect with his police cruiser last summer during a pursuit.
Officer Juan Hernandez, an 11 year veteran of the force, was indicted on one count of second-degree assault and one count of misconduct in office. Prosecutors say Hernandez was responding to a call about an armed person on June 13 when the incident happened. He was one of two officers who arrived at the scene, and while the other officer chased the suspect on foot, prosecutors say Hernandez followed in his cruiser.
When the suspect ran down a side street and into an open field, Hernandez followed the suspect into the field and struck him with the cruiser. The suspect was not hurt. No weapon was found. The pursuit was captured on cruiser cam footage.
During the internal investigation, the incident was brought to the Prince George's County State's Attorney's Office for review to consider possible criminal charges.
"We believe that Officer Hernandez's actions were unwarranted given the circumstances of the incident and with this indictment, the Grand Jury says they believe his actions were criminal," Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said, in a statement announcing the indictment. "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 law enforcement accountable when their actions go above and beyond what is necessary."
A summons will be issued for Hernandez to appear in court. That court date is still pending.