Hearing set for man ordered not to wear police gear

March 30, 2011|By DON AINES | d

HAGERSTOWN — A Keedysville man ordered not to wear police equipment following a 2010 conviction for carrying a concealed dangerous weapon was back in Washington County Circuit Court this week, denying he violated probation by wearing a bullet-resistant vest, handcuffs and other gear.

Documents filed by the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation allege that Forrest Jordan Gunter, 21, of 5034 Churchey Road, was in violation of conditions of probation on Dec. 5, 2010.  

When Hagerstown police responded to a report of a man wearing police gear inside Buffalo Wild Wings, 230 Railway Lane, on that date, “Mr. Gunter was observed wearing a bullet resistant vest with the word Agent on it, handcuffs, a baton, a pistol belt and gun holster,” the documents said. Police took photographs of Gunter wearing the gear.

Gunter told police he left work to eat and did not take the equipment off because he did not want it stolen from the vehicle of a friend who accompanied him to the restaurant, the documents said.

The statement of charges for the violation said he was “allegedly wearing and being is possession of law enforcement equipment and lookalike uniform while not acting in the official capacity of a bail enforcement agent.”

A hearing for Gunter on the violation allegation is scheduled for May 18 before Judge W. Kennedy Boone III.

Gunter pleaded guilty to the weapons possession charge and trespassing in March 2010, court records said. Boone sentenced Gunter to three years in prison, suspending all but 45 days he had served in jail.

Gunter also was placed on probation for three years, with Boone ordering him not to wear or carry badges, batons, radios, uniforms and other equipment unless engaged as an agent for a licensed bail bondsman.

“I don’t want you looking like ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter,’” Boone said at the time. Gunter had told the judge he worked part-time as a bail bondsman.

The weapon involved in that case was a collapsible baton similar to those used by police, the charging documents said. The baton was found when police questioned Gunter about a trespassing incident in August 2009, the documents said.

In September 2010 Gunter was acquitted of an unrelated charge of impersonating an emergency responder, court records said. That case stemmed from a Feb. 13, 2010, incident in which he and another man were questioned by Maryland State Police at the scene of an accident, the charging documents said.

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