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Charges against businessman put on hold

Peter E. Perini Sr. faced one count of second-degree assault and one count of disorderly conduct in connection with an alleged i

Peter E. Perini Sr. faced one count of second-degree assault and one count of disorderly conduct in connection with an alleged i

April 14, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

HAGERSTOWN - Charges that a Hagerstown businessman pushed a police officer at a February girls basketball tournament were put on hold Thursday during a Washington County District Court hearing.

Peter E. Perini Sr., 43, of 19610 Cresap Drive, faced one count of second-degree assault and one count of disorderly conduct in connection with the alleged incident Feb. 25.

Frederick County District Judge Janice Rodnick Ambrose, sitting in Washington County, ordered those charges placed on the stet docket.

A stet is a conditional, indefinite stay of all further proceedings on a charge, allowed by a judge on a motion from a state's attorney.

At Thursday's hearing, Washington County Assistant State's Attorney John B. Dunlap said that if Perini completes three hours of anger management classes, the state will consider expunging the charges from his record.

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Perini did not speak during the proceedings, leaving his attorney, John Salvatore, to do the talking. Perini declined to comment after the hearing.

In 2002, Perini ran as a Democrat against Del. Robert A. McKee for a seat in the Maryland General Assembly. McKee, the incumbent, won the race.

Perini is on the Board of Advisors for the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, according to its Web site.

He is president of Perini Health Care Group in Hagerstown, which is in the business of senior living and health care, according to the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce Web site.

Hagerstown Police Department Officer D.C. Freeman was off duty, attending a middle school girls basketball tournament at Girls Inc. of Washington County, when Perini allegedly pushed him, charging documents state.

At the end of a game, about 10:10 a.m., Freeman walked up to a parent and began speaking with her, charging documents state. Freeman alleged that while speaking with the parent, "I felt a sudden shove to my back that caused me to step forward a few steps to regain my balance to keep from falling to the ground," documents state.

The officer alleged Perini shoved him, then said, "I told you three times to get off the court." It was not clear from charging documents whether Perini was serving as an official at the game or was a spectator.

A message left at Girls Inc. of Washington County was not returned Thursday afternoon.

An argument that allegedly "caused a scene" ensued between the men, documents state. Perini allegedly insisted on seeing Freeman's badge and "yelled" that he wanted to speak with a lieutenant, according to charging documents.

Freeman wrote in charging documents that he was not injured during the incident.

Freeman could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Washington County District Judge Ralph H. France II recused himself from hearing the case and Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Arthur Rozes, who was handling the morning's docket, removed himself from prosecuting the case because he knows Perini.

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