A D.C. police captain who officials said tried to flee the scene of a traffic accident in August and was handcuffed after a scuffle with police officers has been issued a traffic citation and will be given an official departmental reprimand.
Capt. Winston Robinson Jr., 36, the police department's liaison officer with the D.C. office of personnel, was charged yesterday with colliding with a fixed object -- a tree in the 200 block of New York Avenue NW -- according to Lt. William White III. White said Robinson, who was off duty when the incident occurred, "will be issued an official reprimand as a result of the manner in which he conducted himself at the scene of the accident."
White said the traffic citation carries a $50 fine, and that the reprimand "shall be considered in performance evaluations and personnel assignments."
Robinson, a 15-year veteran of the force, could not be reached for comment last night.
The department action came after a month-long police investigation of the incident, which occurred shortly before midnight Aug. 13 as Robinson was driving east on New York Avenue after leaving a 50th birthday party for D.C. Police Chief Maurice T. Turner Jr. at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
A police officer arrived at the scene shortly after the accident occurred and called for backup units. Just as two other officers arrived, Robinson, who was not in uniform, ran from the scene, and the three officers gave chase.
Robinson was apprehended about 150 feet from the accident, and there was a brief struggle as the officers attempted to handcuff him.
He was then placed in a D.C. Fire Department ambulance under a police guard and taken to D.C. General Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
According to persons on the scene of the accident and Deputy Chief Max J. Krupo, who was in charge of the original police department investigation of the incident, Robinson gave police a false name and was not carrying his service revolver, badge or police department identification, which all officers are required to carry in the District even when they are off duty.
He was finally recognized by another officer who was at the hospital on different business, sources have said.
When his identity was learned, Assistant Chief Carl V. Profater, head of the department's Administrative Services Bureau and Robinson's boss, was called to the hospital and drove Robinson home.
In an interview the day after the accident, Profater said that no one at the hospital had mentioned any problems with Robinson's behavior at the accident scene.
No police officials were available to comment last night on the specifics of the police department investigation of the incident, which was begun by Krupo and completed by Profater and Deputy Chief John Connor.
The handling of the accident raised numerous questions about whether standard police department procedures were followed, and it could not be learned last night whether the department's investigation addressed those issues.
Robinson, according to numerous police sources, was placed under arrest the moment he was handcuffed. His name, however, was never entered into an arrest book.
In addition, police sources said, it is standard procedure that persons involved in an accident submit to blood tests at the hospital, but a hospital spokeswoman has said that there is no record of Robinson's having been given one.
The police department accident report on the incident says that Robinson was not arrested and makes no mention of whether he attempted to leave the scene or if he was handcuffed.
The report said he was "fatigued" and "appeared disoriented after the accident."