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Police officer charged with abuse of daughter


A 10-year Howard County police veteran arrested Friday and charged with physically abusing his 5-year-old daughter during a domestic dispute has been ordered to undergo therapy in an alcohol treatment center.

Officer Dale Lewis Hill, 39, surrendered at police headquarters on a warrant charging him with felony child abuse and a misdemeanor battery charge for a June 27 incident. The child told police that her father tried to choke her at their Elkridge home.

Shortly after 2 p.m. Friday, Officer Hill was taken to the District Court commissioner's office in Ellicott City, where he was released on $1,000 bond. Commissioner Nancy Pope also required he have no contact with his wife, Michelle, except through an attorney or by her request.

Police would not comment on the child's welfare, but court records indicate that she is no longer living with her father.

Immediately after the bond hearing, District Court Judge R. Russell Sadler ordered Officer Hill to undergo treatment at the Oakview Treatment Center in Ellicott City. The center provides in-patient and out-patient care for drug and alcohol problems.

Officer Hill admitted having a drinking problem and was ordered to keep in touch with a probation officer, according to court records.

Officer Hill could not be reached for comment.

Police Chief James Robey said through a department spokesman that Officer Hill was on leave without pay for an unrelated and unspecified matter at the time of the abuse charge. Police spokesman Cpl. Kevin Costello would not say how long Officer Hill had been on leave, for what reason he was on leave or why police waited nearly two weeks to arrest him.

A former detective in the department's fugitive warrants section, Officer Hill recently submitted his resignation from the department effective July 31. That, too, was prior to the abuse charge, police said.

Corporal Costello said police policy prevented him from discussing the positions Officer Hill held at the department or whether his gun was taken as a result of the charges.

"I am not authorized to divulge any other information referring to this matter," Corporal Costello said.

On June 27, Detective Stanley Proudlock investigated a reported incident of child abuse at Officer Hill's home in the 5800 block of Rowanberry Drive in Elkridge. Mrs. Hill told police she and her husband were quarreling that day, when she decided to leave.

Officer Hill refused to allow their children to leave with his wife and pushed his 5-year-old daughter to the floor and held her down with his hand around her neck, court records state.

During a police interview, the child told police her father "choked" her and ordered her to the living room during her parents' dispute. Detective Proudlock discovered two red hematomas on the victim's neck. She was examined at the Columbia Medical Plan, where doctors determined that she had been abused, court records said.

Officer Hill has been with the Howard County police department since January 1984. In 1992 and 1993, he served as union president of the Howard County Police Officers' Association.

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