A Fairfax County judge has dismissed all charges against members of a Groveton family involved in an August scuffle with police and criticized two police officers in the process.
General District Court Judge Martin E. Morris threw out all the charges because he said he could not find "one scintilla of evidence" to support the initial drunk driving charge that prompted the incident.
With that, Morris dropped a series of charges against Timothy Rickman, 20, of 3408 Memorial Dr. and members of Rickman's family. The family has contended that the two officers who arrested Rickman attacked them without provocation in their own front yard.
"I feel great," Rickman's father, Donald Rickman, 52, said in an interview yesterday. Everything worked out for the best. It [the court decision] took a helluva load off all of us. Our family sticks together."
Judge Morris action, taken in a Friday court session, will not end the case. Fairfax County police spokesman Warren R. Carmichael said yesterday that the department's internal affairs section is continuing an investigation into the incident and that its report will take at least another week to complete.
"It was [Police Chief Richard A.] King's feeling that our investigation can't be considered complete until the court case was completed," Caramichael said.
In addition to the drunken driving court, the judge also ordered assault and obstructing justice charges dropped against Donald Rickman, his wife, Arline, a stepson, Daniel Manchini and Timothy Rickman.
The arresting officers, patrolmen James Cavender and Jerry L. Bowers, contended that the family had attacked that the family had attacked them after they had attempted to arrest Timothy Rickman.