The chief clerk of the D.C. City City Council Judiciary Committee was arrested last night and charged with simple assault after he allegedly pushed a police officer who was attempting to arrest a motorist at a radar speed trap on 16th Street NW.
The incident occurred at 16th and Nicholson streets, just north of Carter Barron, about 10:30 p.m. when the committee aid, Gregory E. Mize, 33, approached officers on the scene as the motorist and a passenger in his car were being placed in a patrol wagon.
Mize and police officials gave conflicting accounts of what happened next.
Police said the officers were placing the passenger under arrest for disorderly conduct after the motorist had been arrested for driving without a permit.
Mize, according to the police report, walked up to the officers and began shouting that they shouldn't arrest anyone on a "catch all" charge like disorderly conduct. Mize then allegedly stepped between an officer and the disorderly conduct suspect and pushed officer Thomas Farley, driver of the patrol wagon, officials said.
Mize was immediately arrested, handcuffed and placed in the wagon along with the other two men, police said.
The arresting officers reported to their superiors that the passenger in the car had been shouting and cursing so loud that residents of nearby homes were coming out to the street to see what was happening. The officers also reported that Mize accused him of "locking up people for the hell of it," according to 4th District police officials.
Officers at the 4th District station, where Mize initially was taken to be booked, told reporters that Mize told them he worked for City Councilman David Clark (D-Ward 1), and demanded that the charges against him be dropped. Clarke is chairman of the City Council Judiciary Committee.
Later, after being taken by police to the central cellblock in the basement of police headquarters to be fingerprinted, Mize spoke with a reporter and denied he had pushed the officer.
Mize said he had "shaken a finger" in an officer's face after the officer told him to stay out of his way. He said he made the gesture "as if to say, 'You can't talk to me that way,'" but almost at once another officer grabbed him around the neck and began choking him. He was then handcuffed and placed in the patrol wagon, he said.
"I'm absolutely outraged," Mize said. He said he had initially been charged with disorderly conduct, a lesser offense, but was charged with simple assault after he told the officers that he intended to take the case to court.
Mize lives with his wife at 1425 Manchester, La. NW, about a block from where the incident took place. He said he had been saying goodnight to a dinner guest at his front door when they saw the flashing police lights and approached the intersection.
Mize was freed on personal recognizance last night pending a preliminary court hearing.