(WJLA) - A former Metro Transit Police lieutenant who was accused of beating a 60-year-old man during a 2011 arrest in Maryland was found not guilty Wednesday.
David Mann, a 21-year veteran, was acquitted of several counts of assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment in connection with the Sept. 2, 2011 incident, during which he was said to have assaulted John Dotwin in the course of arresting him.
However, Maryland Circuit Court Judge Dwight Jackson found him not guilty of all charges Wednesday at the conclusion of a bench trial.
The incident began when Mann was called to the Southern Maryland Bus Annex in Prince George's County on reports that Dotwin, who was angry over his car possibly being towed, began throwing rocks at a police officer's booth. He also allegedly tried to assault an officer.
During the course of Dotwin's arrest, Mann claimed that the suspect had resisted, and while he tried to cuff both of Dotwin's hands, prosecutors say Mann hit him in the ribs several times and slammed him into the ground. However, witness testimony indicated that Dotwin wasn't resisting at all.
Dotwin was taken to a nearby hospital after the incident, where he was treated for a fractured spine, broken ribs and several facial fractures.
Cheers erupted amongst Mann's supporters after the reading of the verdict. During the trial, a use-of-force expert testified that picking up a suspect and dropping him or her to the ground is not a technique taught to Metro Transit Police officers.
"We are very disappointed with this ruling," Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said in a statement. "We feel that Mr. Mann's actions were criminal and we aren't the only ones who feel this way."
Mann was fired from the force after the incident.
ABC7's Kendis Gibson contributed to this story.