BETHESDA, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - Once hailed a hero, a Prince George's County police officer was sentenced to 45 days in jail Tuesday after being convicted of second-degree assault against a teenage boy.
Earlier this month, Corporal Darryl Wormuth was found guilty of assaulting the handcuffed teen in 2020.
Last week, a judge decided to hold off on sentencing him after text messages surfaced that FOX 5 has learned are "racist in tone."
The texts, according to the Prince George's County State's Attorneys Office, are from Wormuth to several group chats that include police officers and community members.
"This case is about unnecessary force used against an innocent and compliant victim," said State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy in a statement. "The victim was with friends when he was assaulted by Corporal Wormuth. But the bottom line is that Cpl. Wormuth has been held accountable for his actions today. It is truly worrisome when an officer, who takes an oath to protect and serve the community, commits a crime like this. At the same time, I applaud the brave officers who understood that Cpl. Wormuth’s actions were criminal. They came forward to report his actions and subsequently testified against him. I also want to thank and acknowledge the Chief of our Public Integrity Unit, Joel Patterson, for his dedication and hard work on this case. I created that unit when I took office in 2019 to handle cases just like this, and they have done so successfully time and time again."
On May 2, Cpl. Wormuth was found guilty of second-degree assault and misconduct. Investigators believe Wormuth grabbed the 17-year-old by the neck and assaulted him while he was handcuffed during a traffic stop in Suitland back in October 2020.
Fellow officers who were on the scene alerted their commanders to the incident. Wormuth's police powers were suspended several days later, and he was suspended without pay.
Wormuth has been with the Prince George's County Police Department since 2007. He was indicted on April 27, 2021, and is currently suspended.
In 2018, Wormuth rescued a 1-year-old girl from a hot car in Palmer Park.
This is a developing story. Check back with FOX 5 for updates.