A security supervisor at Landover Mall was arrested yesterday by Maryland State Police, bringing to four the number of current and former security personnel charged with beating three mall shoppers last November.
Thomas McLaughlin, 31, of 3905 Tyler Rd., Andrews Air Force Base, was charged with assault and battery and released on personal recognizance, Police Cpl. Vernon Herron said.
McLaughlin, who is employed part time at Landover Mall, is a special agent in the Office of Special Investigation (OSI) at the Air Force base, Herron said. As an OSI agent, he is responsible for providing investigative services for Air Force commanders, said Staff Sgt. Gary Abosch, an Andrews spokesman.
State police said the arrests of McLaughlin and three others, who also are charged with assault and battery, stem from two separate incidents on Nov. 24.
That evening, Eugene Darnell Thompson, 18, and his 16-year-old nephew, John Thompson Jr., were arrested by mall security guards and charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. The Thompsons said they were kicked and beaten by the guards.
In an unrelated incident a short time later, Mark Gibrau, 20, of Landover, said that the guards pushed him, choked him and struck him in the groin while arresting him for disorderly conduct.
After the incidents, a handful of shoppers picketed the mall to protest the guards' alleged behavior. At the urging of the Prince George's County Human Relations Commission, Secretary of State Lorraine Sheehan, who oversees licensing for private security guards, asked state police to investigate.
On April 3, troopers arrested three former and current security guards. McLaughlin's arrest closes the state police investigation, Herron said.
Neither Andrews Air Force Base officials nor Landover Mall management would comment yesterday on McLaughlin's arrest. McLaughlin could not be reached.
The four men are to be tried in July, Herron said.