July 5, 2019 – The Prince George’s County Police Department has arrested a teenager for throwing fireworks at a patrol officer’s marked cruiser while it was in motion in the early morning hours of July 4th.

Preliminarily, the on-duty officer was patrolling in a marked police car the area of East Capital Street and Davey Street in Capitol Heights, at approximately 1:15 am. As the officer was driving, he observed a male in a wooded area just off the roadway throwing a lit firework at his cruiser. The firework landed underneath the vehicle’s front bumper and exploded.  As the officer exited his patrol car, he saw the suspect run into the wooded area.  Officers briefly chased the suspect on foot and made apprehension.  Thankfully, neither the officer or any other motorists were injured when the firework exploded underneath the officer’s vehicle. 

The juvenile was taken into custody and charged with reckless endangerment, assault, and firework related charges.

We have also learned that just prior to the incident with our officer, a 911 caller indicated that a suspect was throwing fireworks at other passing vehicles from the same location. If you have information about this, please call.

This is the second incident in a week where a PGPD Officer was attacked by a firework.  The first incident was this past Saturday on Walters Lane when a suspect threw a lit firework at an officer sitting in a parked cruiser.  A second suspect recorded the incident on a cell phone.   Investigators are working to identify both suspects in that case.  

At this time, this morning’s case and last Saturday’s case do not appear to be related.

Chief Hank Stawinski said, “I am asking our community to look for this behavior and report it.  In both instances, our officers or members of our community could have been seriously injured or worse.   These are large explosive devices and are being used deliberately, with no regard for consequences, against all of us. This is foolish and we will not tolerate it in our community. We will hold those responsible accountable under the law.”

The PGPD reminds all of our residents that purchasing, selling and using fireworks is illegal in Prince George’s County. If you wish to report the illegal use of fireworks, you can call the Fire/EMS Department Operations Center at  301-583-2200.