Police: Impatient Md. driver traverses through active crash scene, grazes cop with vehicle
MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, Md. (ABC7) —
A lack of patience put first responders at risk, compromised an active crash investigation and landed a delivery truck driver in jail, Montgomery County Police said.
On March 22, police and medics were dispatched to 9804 Brookridge Court in Montgomery Village for an auto collision with injuries. Due to the scope of the wreck, police cruisers, an ambulance and fire engine were all utilized to block the scene.
A short while later, one of the officers overheard firefighters arguing with a motorist who had ducked around their engine. That motorist, later identified as Anthony Pena, 33, of Montgomery Village, was reportedly cutting through the crash scene as it blocked access to his townhome community.
According to police, half of Pena's vehicle was off the roadway in the grassy area. When one officer asked for Pena's driver's license and registration, the 33-year-old rebuffed, "For what?" Pena then allegedly shifted his vehicle into reverse and pressed on the accelerator. The side-view mirror grazed the officer in the process.
As police ordered Pena stop and exit his vehicle, he reportedly continued to shout back, "For what!?" Officers managed to open the front driver's side door and grab hold of Pena, however his burly build made it quite challenging. One of the cops punched Pena twice in the head to "disorient him." That allowed police to bring his 260-pound body to the ground and place the iron bracelets around his wrists.
Police said that Pena's antics drew a small crowd of curious residents from their homes. It also interfered with providing timely care to the crash victims.
Speaking by telephone, Pena told ABC7 the officers needlessly "roughed him up," causing a broken nose. He further claimed that police are embellishing the circumstances of what occurred. When asked if he knowingly cut around the active crash scene and/or ignored officers' direct orders to stop, Pena stated such information is irrelevant.
Maryland Judiciary Case Search, the state's public online database for court matters, shows Pena has a bumpy history of traffic violations, including numerous speeding tickets and citations for driving on a suspended license. Police have also previously charged him with crimes like theft, disorderly conduct and destruction of property.
Pena is a native of Venezuela and a Bladensburg High School graduate. He lives with his wife and children in Montgomery Village. According to court paperwork, he works as a driver for BDR Express, a Frederick-based business specializing in shipping products between New York and North Carolina. A phone call and email to the company inquiring about Pena's driving record were not returned.
The Maryland Office of the Public Defender is representing Pena. The government agency has a longstanding policy of not speaking publicly about pending criminal matters.
Pena is scheduled to appear in Montgomery County District Court on May 8, for a status hearing. He faces up to 13 years in prison on charges of second-degree assault, obstructing firefighters, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.