FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 6, 2012
For Information Contact:
District Man Sentenced to 16-Year Prison Term
For Attack of MPD Officer at a Home Depot Store
– Defendant Bit Officer in the Thigh and Hand During the Struggle -
WASHINGTON - George Ball, 45, was sentenced today to a 16-year prison term on charges stemming from an altercation at a Home Depot store that led to the injury of a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officer, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Ball, of Washington, D.C., was convicted by a jury in April 2011, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, of charges of felony assault on a police officer, assault with a dangerous weapon, and assault with significant bodily injury. The Honorable William M. Jackson sentenced him on those charges today. Upon completion of his prison term, Ball will be placed on three years of supervised release.
Additionally, Ball pled guilty to a charge of second degree theft just before the start of the trial last year. He was sentenced in April 2011 to a 180-day jail term for that offense.
The charges stemmed from an incident that took place August 23, 2010 at a Home Depot store in the 900 block of Rhode Island Avenue NE. According to the government’s evidence, Ball walked into the store about 11:45 a.m., stole about $160 worth of merchandise, and attempted to make a fraudulent return of the goods.
A Home Depot loss-prevention security guard witnessed the theft and requested the assistance of MPD Officer Anthony Wallace. Officer Wallace, who was wearing his MPD uniform, was working an approved off-duty security detail at the store.
The security guard planned to stop Ball once he left the store. After Ball exited, the security guard asked Ball to come back inside so that he could discuss what had taken place with Officer Wallace. Ball initially followed the two men, but then he attempted to flee the area.
Officer Wallace tried to stop Ball and handcuff him, and a struggle ensued. The Home Depot guard assisted Officer Wallace in trying to subdue the defendant. Officer Wallace gave loud verbal commands to Ball, telling him to stop resisting and to put his hands behind his back.
Ball grabbed Officer Wallace’s service weapon, which was in its holster. Officer Wallace continued his attempts to physically restrain the defendant. At that point, Ball began biting Officer Wallace, leaving marks on the officer’s right thigh and left thumb, breaking the skin on his thigh and hand, and splitting his thumbnail in half.
During a struggle over the firearm, the gun discharged, with a shot striking Officer Wallace in his left elbow. Officer Wallace was able to retain his firearm and ultimately placed Ball into handcuffs, with the assistance of three other police officers who responded to the scene. Officer Wallace was transported by ambulance to Washington Hospital Center for treatment.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of the detectives, patrol officers and crime scene officers who worked on the case from the MPD.
He also expressed his appreciation to Paralegal Kalisha Johnson-Clark, who prepared the case for indictment. Finally, he acknowledged the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney Terry Eaton, formerly of the Fourth District Unit of the Superior Court Felony Major Crimes Section, and former Special Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Dana, who conducted the pre-indictment investigation and tried the case before the jury.