Quantico's highest ranking town policeman, Sgt. Leo Rodriguez, has been suspended by Mayor T.A. Giannopolous pending the outcome of Rodriguez's June 16 trial for assault and battery.

Under his emergency powers as mayor, Giannopolous suspended Rodriguez on Monday. He said in a letter to Rodriguez that "subject to any further action of the council, you will remain on paid status" during the suspension.

At the same time, Giannopolous notified the council in writing that he is "taking command of the town police." Giannopolous told the council that Rodriguez's "actions have been detrimental to our town and have shaken the confidence of our citizens as to his fitness."

Rodriguez was charged last Wednesday with assault and battery against a juvenile. He is scheduled to appear before the Prince William County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court on June 16.

Rodriguez returned to duty Aril 27, following a 10-day suspension ordered by the Quantico Town Council for "misconduct in office" in connection with a late-night incident April 16.

According to Giannapolous, two police officers reported that Rodriguez "seemed to be drinking heavily" when he responded to a domestic quarrel at a downtown Quantico restaurant that night. Rodriguez, who was off-duty, handcuffed a 15-year-old Woodbridge youth, Anthony Edwards, outside the restaurant, Giannopolous said. Edwards was never charged and was later released.

"My son was just walking with his girlfriend outside the restaurant and all of a sudden this officer comes up and grabs him," said Beatrice Edwards, who filed the charges against Rodriguez. "My son has a few minor injuries, bruises and marks from the handcuffs. Frankly, I'm shocked about this whole incident. I don't think that a person like this should be a a law enforcer myself." Manassas Park