A Baltimore police sergeant was acquitted this week of driving under the influence of alcohol when he crashed a department vehicle in July.
Sgt. Larry Worsley, a 15-year-veteran with the police department, was charged after police said his department-issued Dodge Charger struck several unoccupied parked vehicles July 14 in the area of the 1100 block of Argonne Drive in Northeast Baltimore.
Worsley was acquitted Wednesday of driving while impaired by alcohol. Two related charges were previously dropped, court records show.
“This was the weakest case I have seen in over ten years as a prosecutor and defense attorney,” Worsley’s attorney, Scott Richman, said in a statement.
“The State did not produce any evidence of the cause of the accident, odor of alcohol, or impaired coordination as a result of alcohol consumption. I can only assume the State’s Attorney’s Office pursued this case based on Sgt. Worsley’s status as a police officer.”
A spokeswoman with the State’s Attorney’s Office responded to Richman’s comments by saying the office had a strong case.
“It’s absolutely absurd for Sgt. Worsley’s attorney to call a case weak, where his client’s blood alcohol level was almost double the legal limit 3 hours after being detained and crashing a city-owned vehicle into other cars on his way to work,” spokeswoman Melba Saunders said in a statement.
“In the interest of public safety our office takes driving while intoxicated cases seriously and will always pursue justice equally and fairly no matter the occupation of the defendant.,"
The police department did not respond to a request for comment Thursday night.
The department earlier this week announced the firing of Officer Aaron Heilman who was found intoxicated and slumped over in his patrol vehicle near Pigtown on Tuesday. A Breathalyzer revealed his blood alcohol level was 0.22, police said.
A police spokesman said Worsley was off duty at the time of his incident.
Richman said his client “looks forward to returning to his regular duties that he faithfully performed for the citizens of Baltimore for the last 15 years.”
Worsley was previously assigned to the Anti-Crime Section, which was created in April and has two sergeants and 12 officers addressing violent groups in the city. It’s the first new plainclothes unit since such units were disbanded last year by then-Police Commissioner Kevin Davis after the federal indictments of eight Gun Trace Task Force officers.