A 19-year-old man who said he was assaulted by Landover Mall security guards while being arrested last November has pleaded guilty in Prince George's County District Court to trespassing. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to drop two counts of assault and battery and a disorderly conduct charge against him.
The plea by Eugene Darnell Thompson of Laurel ends a series of court cases that involved him and his nephew and the guards.
Thompson entered the plea Wednesday. Judge Francis Borelli fined him $60 and put him on probation for a year.
Thompson and his nephew, John Thompson Jr., 16, of Clinton had charged that they were kicked and beaten by four Landover Mall security guards as they were being arrested for trespassing and disorderly conduct last Nov. 24.
Last month two guards, Thomas McLaughlin, 32, of Andrews Air Force Base, and Gary Byrd, 21, of Capitol Heights, were found guilty in District Court of assaulting Eugene Darnell Thompson. Byrd also was found guilty of assaulting John Thompson.
The third guard, David McCloud, was acquitted of the charges, while charges against a fourth guard, William Ehresman, were dropped in exchange for testimony against the other guards.
The two guards found guilty will be sentenced next Monday.
The Thompsons declined to comment on the case. Their lawyer, Vail Kaufman, said he was "satisfied" with the plea.
Kaufman said that John Thompson, who was acquitted of charges of assault and resisting arrest in juvenile court and found "involved" in trespassing but not punished, has filed an $11 million civil suit against the mall and the guards. Darnell Thompson's name soon will be added to the suit, which seeks $1 million in compensatory damages and $10 mllion in punitive damages, Kaufman said.
An Andrews Air Force Base spokesman said McLaughlin, an Air Force staff sergeant who worked as a guard at the mall during his off-duty hours, may also face disciplinary action from the Air Force. No action has yet been taken, said Staff Sgt. Gary Abosch.