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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 10, 2015

District Man Found Guilty Of Aggravated Assault For Striking Metropolitan Police Department Officer With His Car

MPD Officer Lost Use of His Lower Left Leg

            WASHINGTON – Kevin Burno, 26, of Washington, D.C., has been found guilty by a jury of aggravated assault while armed, assault on a police officer while armed, and assault with a dangerous weapon stemming from his use of a 1991 Lexus sedan to run over a Metropolitan Police Department patrol officer, Sean Hickman, in March 2013 in Southeast Washington, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Vincent H. Cohen, Jr. and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            The verdict was returned on July 9, 2015, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.  The Honorable Patricia A. Broderick scheduled sentencing for Sept. 15, 2015.  Burno faces up to 30 years of incarceration.

            “This case is a reminder that police officers put themselves in harm’s way every day to serve our community,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Cohen. “This officer was seriously injured while on the job when a criminal intentionally ran him down with a car for no reason at all.  A D.C. jury has now held Kevin Burno accountable for this brazen assault.  We are pleased that justice has been served.”

            “Officer Sean Hickman is not only a wonderful police officer, he is one of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting,” said Chief Lanier. “Prior to becoming a police officer Sean worked as a second-grade teacher, which is a true testament of his dedication to public service and speaks further to the generous and kind person that he is.  The assault that Officer Hickman suffered is truly tragic, an unfortunate reality that police officers face, and one that has left him permanently injured.  I am pleased by the jury’s decision.”

            According to the government’s evidence, on March 5, 2013, at about 6:30 p.m., Officer Hickman was patrolling in Southeast Washington on his 250cc Honda Rebel motor scooter.  Officer Hickman was responding to a call in the area when he observed Burno’s vehicle pulling out of a parking spot and heading southbound without its lights on.  The officer was travelling northbound and pulled his motor scooter over to the northbound parking lane, where he made a hand signal to Burno’s vehicle indicating that his headlights were not on.  Burno pulled out of his parking spot and drove in Officer Hickman’s direction. Burno then abruptly turned his vehicle into the officer, causing him to be thrown off his motor scooter and onto the sidewalk – unable to move. Burno sped off without stopping or providing medical assistance to Officer Hickman.

            Officer Hickman was treated for serious injuries to the left side of his body in general, and his lower left leg in particular.  To date, he has limited movement in his left leg and can no longer work patrol duties.

            In announcing the verdict, Acting U.S. Attorney Cohen and Chief Lanier commended the work of Officer Hickman and the Metropolitan Police Department’s Sixth District.  They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the prosecution from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brandon Long and Richard DiZinno, who investigated and indicted the case; Litigation Technology Specialist Leif Hickling; Paralegal Specialists Stephanie Gilbert and Richard Cheatham; and Intern Willie Wilson. Finally, they expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Derrick Williams and Karen Seifert, of the Felony Major Crimes Trial Section, who prosecuted the matter.

Press Release Number: 
15-135
Updated July 10, 2015