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D.C. detective charged with assault

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By Mary Pat Flaherty
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A veteran D.C. police detective was charged with simple assault and refusing to take a sobriety test after an argument early Saturday in Columbia Heights in which he allegedly pushed one man and slammed another against a car, a police arrest report says.

The off-duty detective also drove from the scene about 3:20 a.m. in his truck after being told by a uniformed officer to remain parked, the report says.

As a result of the arrest, Detective William J. Witkowski, 46, a 19-year department veteran, was placed on noncontact status, department spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said. That means he is not to have official dealings with the public.

The arrest report filed on the assault counts says Witkowski, who was driving south on 14th Street NW at 3 a.m., stopped at a light at Fairmont Street. Two Silver Spring men said they were parked nearby when he began yelling at them.

The two men told police that they did not understand what was being said and stepped out of their vehicle, before Witkowski made a turn and parked on the sidewalk beside it, the report says.

A patrol officer stopped for what she thought was an accident and saw Witkowski shove the men and put one in a chokehold, the report says. She watched as Witkowski "started slamming him on a car."

A passenger in Witkowski's truck pulled him back inside while the patrol officer was ordering that the truck not be moved, the report says. The detective drove off, then stopped on Girard Street NW.

In addition to being charged with two counts of assault, Witkowski received a citation for refusing a test for possibly driving under the influence.

Witkowski could not be reached for comment.

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