A veteran D.C. police captain has been given a suspended prison sentence and probation for assault after he tried to choke his wife in the back of a car in Prince George’s County, authorities said Monday.
Capt. Lamar West, 49, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault after a jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict following a trial in October. A judge declared a mistrial, but West agreed to a deal rather than face a new trial.
Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks said in a statement that West, who has been on the force 23 years, was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison, all of it suspended, and put on 18 months of supervised probation.
The captain, who makes more than $115,000 a year, had been on desk duty with no contact with civilians in the Strategic Services Bureau, which conducts research and analyzes programs for the department. On Monday, he was put on administrative leave with pay, according to a police spokesman. He now faces departmental discipline, which could include termination, said D.C. police spokesman Araz Alali.
Alsobrooks said the assault5 occurred in September 2012 while West was riding in a car with his wife and two friends. He and his wife, who were in the back seat, argued and then fought, Alsobrooks said.
The driver pulled over, left the car and opened the back door to help the woman, Alsobrooks said. She said the driver wrestled the captain to the ground while the front-seat passenger disarmed the off-duty officer of his service weapon and kicked it under the car.
Alsobrooks said domestic violence affects all segments of the community.
“What Officer Wests’s case signifies for us is there really are no boundaries,” she said. The captain’s attorney did not return calls seeking comment.
West is the latest D.C. police officer in trouble with the law. Last month, an officer was indicted on a charge of attempted murder in connection with an attack on his wife, also in Prince George’s.
Another officee is accused of running an underage prostitution ring, and yet a third officer was charged with taking semi-nude pictures of a teenage runaway. He died after being pulled from the Washington Channel a day after he was freed from jail pending trial. The cause of death is pending