Man is sentenced in officer assault

September 30, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

Hagerstown Police Department Officer Gerard Kendle on Wednesday testified that in 11 years on the force no incident has affected him more than the afternoon Troy Ray Ferguson plowed into him with a Dodge Durango.

Kendle, who was hit in the midsection with the sport utility vehicle, testified in Washington County Circuit Court on Wednesday that the April 1 incident, which followed a fighting chase through a downtown Maryland Department of Parole and Probation building, was "the most traumatic incident, both physically and emotionally for me" in his years as a police officer.

Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright III sentenced Ferguson to serve 20 years in state prison on three combined charges, one of which was unrelated to the April incident.


Ferguson, 26, whose last known address before his arrest was 943 Maryland Ave. in Hagerstown, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the first-degree assault of Kendle, and to a concurrent 10 years for the second-degree assault of a Maryland Department of Parole and Probation employee, which occurred when he fled through the building that day. He was sentenced to eight years on an unrelated conspiracy to distribute cocaine charge, which he was ordered to serve consecutively to the 12-year sentence.

He pleaded guilty to the charges Sept. 7.

Ferguson's attorney, William Purpura, said that when Ferguson saw that a police officer was called in to serve him with a warrant, "he panicked."

During Ferguson's preliminary hearing May 26, Detective Shawn Schultz testified that Ferguson lunged at Kendle when he arrived, then broke free from a struggle with the officer, ran down a hallway, pushed an office employee against a wall, made it to the lobby where he again fought Kendle and then, after breaking free, ran to the sport utility vehicle.

Schultz testified that when Ferguson got into the driver's seat of the vehicle, Kendle raised his gun and ordered him to stop, but instead Ferguson drove into him.

Washington County State's Attorney Charles Strong told Wright that Ferguson has an extensive criminal history and is a "very violent and very dangerous criminal."

"He was confronted by Officer Kendle and deliberately made the decision to run him down in his vehicle," Strong said.

Purpura said that Ferguson was just trying to get free and did not intend to injure the officer.

"Why did he want to get free? Because he was a 25-year-old man, impetuous and not thinking," Purpura said.

Ferguson apologized to Kendle, then tearfully said, "I made a terrible mistake."

Through tears, Ferguson described the family members who will miss him while he's in prison.

His voice breaking, Ferguson said, "On April 1, 2004, I was the biggest fool in Hagerstown."

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