A dump truck driver with a history of mental illness allegedly intentionally rammed into two Prince George County police cruisers. It is believed the man was off his medications at the time.
NBC Washington reported that two police officers were standing near their cruisers on Wednesday about noon when Gene Thomas Brandon, Jr. drove up and screamed at them through his truck window.
“He kept making reference to his brother who was shot in D.C. and he somehow fixated on our officers,” Police Chief Mark Magaw said. “All of this didn’t happen, but in his mind it did.”
The officers told him to move because he was blocking traffic at the busy Woodmore Towne Centre shopping area in Glenarden.
“They asked him to move his truck along because the traffic was starting to build up behind him, and they say to him, ‘Have a nice day, sir,’ at which point he says, ‘We’re about to have a nice day,’” Lt. Brian Reilly said.
According to WBALTV, Brandon proceeded to drive away, but circled back around and slammed into the back of one cruiser, pushing it into the other one. The officers were able to get of the way, avoiding injury.
Police said Brandon then got out of the truck and hostilely approached the officers, who took him into custody.
“I’m not sure that our officers clearly understood what he was saying, although preliminarily, from my understanding, they believed it was a negative-tone conversation,” said the Prince George’s County police spokesman.
The crime does not appear to be connected to any other incidents. It appears as though Brandon’s mental state played a major role in the incident.
Brandon, 31, has a history of traffic violations. He has been charged with two counts of attempted murder and two counts of first-degree assault.
“It’s by God’s grace that these two officers weren’t killed,” Magaw said.