Police reports made public this week about the September beating and carjacking of Maryland Del. Darren M. Swain contain allegations from the suspected assailants that the lawmaker used drugs with and solicited one of them before they attacked him and stole his vehicle.
In an interview with The Washington Post on Friday, Swain (D-Prince George’s) denied using drugs or acting inappropriately, and he said the release of the documents would not keep him from competing in the June 24 primary as he pursues reelection in the fall.
The police reports that were released do not indicate that drugs were found or confiscated during the incident. Swain was not charged with any crime.
“Just because police officers write things in statements doesn’t give them instant credibility,” Swain said. “I am confident that the citizenry in the 24th District is savvy enough and smart enough to see through this.”
Swain’s alleged assailants, Keion Dayshawn Naylor and DeAndre Stoddard, were initially charged with assault and robbery in connection with the incident, which happened early on the morning of Sept. 1. But prosecutors dropped the charges after failing to find enough evidence to prosecute.
WRC (Channel 4) obtained the Prince George’s County police reports through a Freedom of Information Act request, and broadcast their contents Tuesday night.
The documents include a statement by Naylor, 19, who told investigators that he was at a gas station asking for money at 3:30 a.m. on Sept. 1 when a man in a gray Nissan inquired about drugs and offered to buy him food at a nearby McDonald’s.
The driver of the Nissan, later identified as Swain, brought Naylor to a condominium in the 10000 block of Prince Place in Largo. They walked into the home together to use drugs, according to Naylor’s statement.
Naylor told police that he and Stoddard, 19, assaulted Swain after Swain touched Naylor inappropriately. The younger men then took Swain’s keys and drove off in the Nissan, which bore tags indicating that the owner was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates.
Swain, who was badly beaten, knocked on several neighbors’ doors seeking help. When police arrived, he told them that he gave Naylor a ride, then entered the condo against his better judgment to use the bathroom and was subsequently robbed, kicked and punched in the head.
“I began to fight for my life,” Swain, who is the assistant vice president for alumni relations at Bowie State University, wrote in his police statement. The police reports say he declined an offer to be taken to the hospital.
Swain was appointed to his General Assembly seat by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) in January 2013, to fill the vacancy created when Tiffany Alston (D) was removed from office after being convicted of theft. The Prince George’s Democratic Central Committee had selected businessman Greg Hall to take over the seat, but O’Malley rejected his nomination because Hall had been involved in drug dealing and criminal activity decades earlier.
Now, Alston and Hall are both challenging Swain in the June primary, along with political newcomer Phillip Raines and several others. Alston did not return calls Friday, but both Hall and Raines said they would withhold judgment on Swain’s political future.
“We will let the voters of District 24 decide whether that is an impediment to him seeking election,” Raines said.
Hall referenced his own past brushes with law enforcement, saying, “I’ve been through it. Darren Swain is a good person and a friend of mine. If the voters think he should represent them, they should get what they want.”
A spokeswoman for O’Malley declined a request for comment.