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D.C. police snowball assault case dismissed

The last of the region's infamous snowball cases has melted in the April sun.

Prosecutors have dropped a case charging Maria B. Lewis, 21, of Mount Pleasant, of assaulting a police officer during a late-night snowball fight Feb. 10 just after closing outside the Wonderland bar.

The misdemeanor case was dropped April 15 in a motion filed by the U.S. Attorney's office for the District, court records show.

Lewis had pleaded not guilty and was scheduled to appear for a non-jury trial Wednesday in D.C. Superior Court. In early March, she was offered a plea deal that she rejected, court files show, and asked for a trial date.

"I feel great! Also not surprised," wrote Lewis in an e-mail Tuesday. "The whole thing was so ridiculous."

She said the deal she had been offered was to plead guilty and the prosecution would not object to probation. "No lesser charges were offered," she said in her e-mail.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office declined comment.

In court filings, police said Officer Lynn Pittmon and other officers had been called for a disturbance at 11th and Kenyon streets outside the Mount Pleasant bar. When he exited his marked car, a police account showed, Pittmon, a 10-year-veteran, was hit in the chest by an icy snowball allegedly thrown by Lewis.

Pittmon said in filings that Lewis also resisted and impeded him.

In the hours just after the snowball incident, a police spokesman had said that an officer had been hit in the face with an iceball.

That would seem to close out the snowball cases that attracted local attention. To recap:

The off-duty District detective who pulled a gun in December after a large crowd pelted his Hummer with snowballs during a daytime incident at 14th and U street was put on desk duty following the event. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said Det. Michael Baylor, on the force for 30 years, violated department protocol but has said personnel laws limited what more she could say.

Two James Madison students, both 21, who threw snowballs at an unmarked police cruiser and a snowplow will spend 12 months on probation and eight hours picking up litter. Ryan William Knight and Charles Joseph Gill, who pleaded guilty to playing in the roadway, a misdemeanor, also must submit letters of apology to the officers involved in the case.

This item has been updated since it was first published.

-- Mary Pat Flaherty

By Mary Pat Flaherty  |  April 20, 2010; 5:57 PM ET
Categories:  Cathy L. Lanier , From the Courthouse , Mary Pat Flaherty , The District , Updates  
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I know someone who was assaulted, harassed, stalked, and as recently as April 7, 2010, the man sent another death threat by U.S. Mail.
She tried three times to get a CPO that his family helped him evade. He tried to get someone to kill her, and he made a false terrorist report as a way to get revenge. The MPD and the U.S. Attorney are no where to be found. Now I know why they haven't prosecuted the man, he didn't throw a snowball.

Posted by: cogic4902 | April 20, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

“Law enforcement” is an oxymoron. When it comes to arresting and prosecuting the police have no problem charging people with “assaulting a police officer”, “disorderly conduct” or “failure to obey a lawful order” when the citizen does not immediately comply with their orders or touches a cop. But when the police attack an unarmed citizen, lie to falsify a report or collude with other cops to obtain an arrest or testify in court to obtain a conviction they seem to have a problem charging those cops with any crimes, then hiding behind the personnel file scam to avoid telling the public that they have done nothing to stop these practices. Then the police wonder why the public does not trust them. Hypocrites, thugs with badges and guns with the corrupt judges and courts behind them all the way. It appears the police have a considerable credibility problem as the citizen’s word is worthless against a lying cop in court or otherwise, fortunately there are video cameras, cell phone cameras and tape recorders.

Posted by: OhBrother67 | April 21, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

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