Finksburg man charged with assault, DUI after driving lawn tractor in road with child on lap

Finksburg man charged with assault, DUI after driving lawn tractor in road with child on lap
Brandon Jeffrey Leverknight (Carroll County Sheriff’s Office)

A Finksburg man was charged with six counts and additional traffic violations after he allegedly fought with a man after cutting him off while driving a lawn tractor in the road with a 3-year-old girl in his lap while intoxicated.

Brandon Jeffrey Leverknight, 26, of the 1500 block of Deer Park Road, was charged with six counts, including one count of reckless endangerment and two counts of second-degree assault. He was also issued traffic citations including driving while under the influence of alcohol and operating an unregistered motor vehicle. He was being held on $7,500 bail pending bail review as of 5 p.m. Monday, May 21, according to electronic court records.


According to the statement of probable cause, deputies from the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to Davinda Drive and Deer Park Road, and advised that a man had assaulted another individual before driving away on a lawn tractor.

Police arrived and witnesses pointed them to a man, later identified as Leverknight, who was operating a lawn tractor heading northbound on Davinda Drive with a child in his lap. Police observed the vehicle swerving into the opposite lane, according to the statement.

The deputies activated the lights of their patrol vehicle. They observed Leverknight looking back several times at the patrol car, but he continued down the road before pulling onto the lawn of a property and continuing on.

Deputies continued pursuit on foot. Upon catching up with Leverknight, deputies smelled a strong odor of alcohol on his person and observed slurred speech and glassy eyes. The child was crying, according to the statement.

One deputy pulled the throttle of the lawn tractor to reduce its speed and Leverknight pushed it back to full. Leverknight asked the deputies to allow him to continue on and take the child home. Two deputies moved to either side of the tractor in order to pull down the throttle of the vehicle and turn off its ignition.

Leverknight repeatedly ignored verbal commands, according to the statement.

Deputies placed Leverknight in handcuffs and extracted him from the lawn tractor and brought him to the ground. Leverknight asked what he was doing wrong and why he was being arrested. He stated, “Let me get up, I’m trying to be good,” according to the statement.

A deputy assisted Leverknight off the ground, after which he was observed to lunge at another deputy.

Leverknight was also allegedly combative as he was being placed into the back of the patrol vehicle. A deputy informed him that if he did not comply, he would be sprayed with capsicum spray. He was then exposed to the spray.

EMS was called to the scene to provide medical treatment, according to the statement.

After being advised of his Miranda rights, Leverknight told police that he had just wanted to take the child for a ride on the tractor.

He said he was mowing a neighbor’s lawn when he entered the roadway and cut off a vehicle. The vehicle passed him, almost running him over, then stopped. The driver exited and began punching him, Leverknight said.

Police made contact with the driver of the vehicle, who had remained on scene. The man said he was driving when he came upon Leverknight driving the lawn tractor in the middle of the lane of traffic. He went around the tractor and Leverknight flipped him off, he said, so he stopped “to ask him what his problem was,” according to the statement.

Leverknight placed the child on the ground then approached him and slapped a phone out of his hand before tackling him to the ground, he said. The man said Leverknight then followed him around as he tried to call police before returning to the tractor with the child and driving away.


A witness told police he heard a commotion and arrived to observe Leverknight attempt to kick the man while he was on the ground. The witness got between the two, and attempted to calm the situation and get Leverknight to take the child and leave, he told police.

The witness said Leverknight began to leave the scene, but got angry when he saw the other man on the phone. Leverknight got off the tractor once again to confront the man, but the witness and another individual stepped between the two.

A bail review is scheduled for Tuesday, May 22.