Maryland Police Officer Killed In Assault
Sometimes police officers get injured or killed in the line of duty. While many of these injuries and deaths are caused by gunfire or auto accidents, sometimes they are caused by assault.
Keith Heacook, a police officer from Delmar, was recently killed in an assault. The fatal attack occurred on the morning of April 25 in Delmar. Heacook, 54, responded to a call about a fight in progress. The 22-year veteran was attacked by a 30-year-old man. The man repeatedly slammed his foot on the officer’s head.
Heacook was found unconscious by a deputy and a trooper from Delaware. He was taken to R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. He was taken off life support several days later, on April 28, and was declared dead shortly after. Heacook was married with a 12-year-old son.
The man is also accused of assaulting an elderly couple. They were hospitalized, but both are now recovering at home. The man faces multiple criminal charges, including first-degree attempted murder, two counts of first-degree assault, using a deadly weapon to commit a felony, burglary, and terroristic threatening. The charges will be updated to include murder.
The man has a lengthy criminal history in Maryland. He was convicted of burglary in December and a warrant was served for his arrest when he didn’t appear for a court hearing. He is currently in jail and held on a $451,000 cash bail.
Assault on a Police Officer
An assault on a police officer is taken seriously in Maryland. While assault is typically charged as a misdemeanor, it becomes a felony when the victim is a police officer.
To convict someone of assault on a police officer, you’ll need to prove one of these three key elements:
- Intent to frighten. This is when one person frightens another by threatening to physically harm them.
- Attempted battery. This is when a person attempts to physically harm another person.
- Battery refers to causing offensive physical contact or harm to another person.
To convict someone of assault on a police officer, the state must also prove that the assault was on one of the following:
- A law enforcement officer performing their official duties
- A parole or probation agent performing their official duties.
- A firefighter, emergency medical technician, rescue squad member, or any other first responder engaged in emergency medical care or rescue services
In addition, there must be proof that some sort of physical injury occurred to the law enforcement official, including minor injuries or impairment.
Contact a Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Assault is no minor crime, especially when the victim is a police officer. A person can face serious penalties for such a crime, including many years in prison.
You’ll need a strong defense in this type of situation. Seek legal help from the Columbia assault lawyer at The Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. We’ll consider the right strategy for your case. To schedule a consultation, fill out the online form or call (410) 774-5987. We have two offices to serve you.