This story was updated at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 5.
Newly released surveillance footage near a Brentwood convenience store allegedly shows a Prince George’s County police officer striking an unsuspecting teen with his handgun in February, and now the county government and officer are facing a $10 million civil lawsuit.
The video from a security camera appears to show Ryan Keith Dorm, 19, of Cottage City walking down a street when two county officers run up behind him and one officer strikes him in the head with a handgun, causing the gun to fire.
Cpl. Donald Taylor, a 13-year veteran, first stated that he and another officer witnessed Dorm and another man try to rob the Lowest Price Gas station in the 3800 block of Rhode Island Avenue and began pursuing them on foot Feb. 3, according to county police. He reported that Dorm began running away from the officers and tried to reach for Taylor’s weapon when Taylor fired his weapon, but did not strike him, county police initially reported from Taylor’s accounts.
After an internal administrative review, the county department found that Taylor’s accounts were false, and he has since been suspended from the department and is facing criminal charges for second-degree assault, giving a false statement to police, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment. An Aug. 10 suspension hearing for Taylor deemed that he would be suspended with pay and placed on administrative duty to not be in any contact with the public, Police Chief Mark Magaw said in an Aug. 10 interview.
For Taylor’s criminal charges, calls to defense attorney Robert Bonsib were not returned Wednesday.
Scott Peterson, a spokesman for the Prince George’s County Executive’s office, declined to comment, saying that the county does not speak on pending litigation.
At the time of the incident, Dorm was arrested and jailed for four months based on charges of second-degree assault and resisting arrest until county police determined Dorm was falsely accused and his charges were dropped and he was released.
He then filed a lawsuit against the county and Taylor for $10 million.
Dorm’s attorney, Bowie- based lawyer Jimmy Bell, said the officer obviously lied and needs to repay Dorm for the physical and mental anguish brought on him from the incident.
“Donald Taylor had plenty of chances to admit he was mistaken about Ryan Dorm and apologize for his mistake. But no. He decided to concoct a story to make himself, not the aggressor, but the ‘victim’ of being attacked by Ryan and the ‘hero’ for subduing Ryan, which put Ryan in jail for four months,” Bell said. “Ryan lost his freedom and suffered all the insulting, humiliating and degrading treatment that a 19-year-old would get from the inmates, for crimes that Donald Taylor made up.”
The lawsuit accounts for emotional distress, false imprisonment, being the victim of assault, suffering physical pain and injury and suffering “extreme and enduring mental anguish.”
“Why hasn't the Prince George’s County government done the right thing and compensated Ryan for the wrongs that were done to him?” Bell asked.