A Howard County Circuit Court Judge ruled Tuesday that the Howard County police officer who allegedly attacked a man in an off-duty incident near his home in Columbia is not guilty of second-degree assault, according to State's Attorney spokesman Wayne Kirwan.

Seven-year veteran Lawrence Cameron Cook, 31, was placed on no-duty status with pay and police powers suspended after being indicted in July.

According to police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn, Cook will remain on no-duty status until a internal investigation is concluded. 

The charge stemmed from a March incident in which Cook, of the 49900 block of Dorsey Hall Drive, allegedly assaulted a man in the parking lot of a Giant located in the village of Dorsey Search some time between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m.


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The State's Attorney was notifed of the incident by police. 

The accuser, Craig Kesler, 29, of Anne Arundel County, said he is a Washington Post employee who was delivering newspapers to a grocery store at the time of the incident.

The defendant challenged the quality of video evidence that was expected to be used in the trial, which was held in front of Judge Richard Bernhardt on Tuesday.

Check back for updates.