A Prince George’s County police officer accused of striking a handcuffed suspect was acquitted of assault and misconduct in office after a trial this week.
A judge found Cpl. Levi Vaughn not guilty Monday of all counts in a July 2016 incident involving an uncooperative suspect being transported to the county jail, according to Vaughn’s attorney and online court records.
A handcuffed suspect had spit in Vaughn’s face, according to Prince George’s prosecutors. Vaughn hit the suspect twice before another officer intervened, prosecutors said. County police brought the case to the state’s attorney’s office for review and prosecution.
Vaughn’s attorney, J. Wyndal Gordon, said his client was “defending himself against a drug-addled suspect” who was spitting in his face.
Vaughn, who was placed on unpaid administrative leave, has returned to duty, according to Gordon. The officer, who has been with the department for 10 years, still faces an internal review, Gordon said.
An earlier version of this story attributed details of the incident to Prince George’s County Police. Those details came from Prince George’s County prosecutors. The story has been updated with the correct attribution.