A Vienna woman who accused an Arlington police officer of stealing $1,000 from her when he arrested her on a drunk-driving charge has agreed to write the officer a letter of apology and pay him an indisclosed amount in damages.
Officer Edward A. Anstine, who filed a $2 million lawsuit against the woman claiming he was tired of being harassed because he was a lawman, called the settlement "a victory for police."
When Anstine, a nine-year veteran of the Northern Virginia force, filed his suit in December 1978, police and court officials hailed it as the first of its kind in the Virginia suburbs. Yesterday, as Anstine disclosed he had agreed to settle the dispute out of court, he said he had been vindicated. "i'm glad this thing is over," he said.
"i wasn't out to destroy the lady financially, but those accusations should never have been made," he said. "i don't think police should have to take that kind of thing, especially when it's an accusation of moral turpitude. You can always be attacked on that point."
Shirley Jean McIntosh, editor and publisher of a small Fairfax County newspaper and the woman Anstine said "maliciously and falsely" accused him, could not be reached for comment yesterday. Anstine said that the amount she had agreed to pay him was "under $5,000."
McIntosh had filed a formal complaint with the police department several hours after her arrest, charging that Anstine stole $1,000 in cash she had hidden in her automobile. An internal police investigation later held that the charge was "unfounded."
Asked to comment on the settlement, her attorney, Louis D. Koutoulakos, replied "what's the big deal?" and declined further comment.
Anstine and his attorney, Geoffrey Williams, said they have not yet received the letter of apology. "we will not drop the suit until we receive that," Williams said yesterday. "That was an explicit part of the settlement."
McIntosh was arrested by Anstine at 2 a.m. Sept. 30, 1978, as she was driving on Arlington Boulevard. According to Anstine, the woman insisted there was money in the car, but the officer told her he couldn't see any.
When he later checked the contents of the car Anstine said he found $100 in cash under a floormat and several checks, which he turned over to department authorities.
McIntosh subsequently filed a complaint, charging Anstine with stealing $1,000.
Court records show that McIntosh pleaded guilty to a charge of drunk driving and last year completed Arlington's Alcohol Safety Action Program. dThe charge was subsequently reduced to reckless driving.