By Ken Rossignol
THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY
News and Commentary
LEXINGTON PARK, MD. 05/16/2014— I heard the words racing across the airwaves from the strained voice of a deputy, “Signal 13, headquarters, I’ve been shot”. I was turning onto Great Mills Road from Rt. 5 and immediately the voice of Sgt. George Kramer told the St. Mary’s Sheriff’s headquarters that he was close by the location given by the downed deputy who had been wounded. Sgt. Kramer was about a half mile closer to the shooting scene at the corner of Saratoga and Midway Drive in the Patuxent Park subdivision. When I arrived I saw Kramer bent over the suffering deputy, talking to him and giving him assistance.
Sgt. Kramer turned to me and ordered me to take any measure needed to restrain a subject standing next to the police car as he bent down a few feet away to tend to Deputy Darryl Greb, who was suffering from the pain of a gunshot.
A car load of suspects had attempted to rob the man that Sgt. Kramer wanted restrained, when they were interrupted by Dep. Greb as he patrolled the troubled neighborhood after midnight.
After opening fire on Dep. Greb, the carload of yahoos sped down the street, took a corner too fast and careened into a tree. The shooter and his pals then took off on foot, winding up later at nearby town house complex where they were finally captured.
As Sgt. Kramer attempted to aid the wounded Greb, who was visibly bleeding and in entering shock, the screams of sirens filled the night air and soon screeching patrol cars came from every direction.
The Lexington Park Rescue Squad and ALS folks were not far from the scene of the attempted murder of the deputy and they quickly assessed his wounds and bundled him off to a Maryland State Police helicopter.
The shooter was soon in custody and numerous visits of Sheriff’s deputies and then Sheriff Richard Voorhaar wore out a path to the hospital, assisting Dep. Greb and his family in any way possible, much like takes place when any police officer in America is gunned down.
In due course, the day of the trial of the shooter arrived and the courtroom was packed with uniformed deputies showing their support for Deputy Greb. Greb was a competent officer, and because he was doing his job right, patrolling a neighborhood with problems, he stopped a robbery and a bullet.
The bad guy went to prison where he will hopefully have a long and unpleasant life behind bars.
Greb went through surgeries and rehabilitation but due to medical conditions left from the gunshot to his arm, he was forced to seek and was granted, for his visible and functional wounds, a disability retirement. Deputy Greb had been on the agency about ten years when he was shot and would have far preferred working for his paycheck, but the promise of society to take care of the brave officers who protect and serve the public was to be his compensation, not that he wanted it.
Nearly twenty years later, another deputy who was doing his job, protecting and serving the citizens of St. Mary’s County, responded to a 911 call at a condominium in a middle class neighborhood of Wildewood in California, Maryland.
Deputy Mike George, a K-9 officer and another deputy found a man in a bizarre state, screaming and disorderly outside of the Sugar Maple condo building. Very quickly, mortal combat was engaged as the man resisted and fought the two officers as they attempted to subdue and arrest him. The man, a soldier with the esteemed Old Guard assigned to prestigious duty in Washington, D.C. was substantial in size and crazed in behavior, a deadly combination.
The attempts of the deputies to avoid deadly force and bring him under control were quickly and violently thwarted. Tasers and pepper spray were of no effect on him. Then the soldier went for Deputy George’s firearm. They wrestled for control of the gun; with the lives of both deputies and possibly any nearby citizens at stake should the officer’s gun be seized. Deputy George was able to hold onto it and discharged three rounds into the man, killing him.
Deputy George and the second officer were both taken to the hospital for treatment of the visible physical wounds received in the deadly battle in which they had fought in their fight for survival. Unlike the cowardly desk jockeys with control over his life, Dep. George didn’t run from a dangerous criminal, he fought him and unfortunately had to use deadly force and ended the man’s life.
Deputy George was off on routine administrative leave and the investigation into the incident revealed he had acted appropriately in battle for his life which had a fatal outcome for the soldier. About six weeks later, Deputy George returned to work.
This point in the story of Deputy Greb and Deputy George is where the similarities end.
Deputy Greb, now a civilian St. Mary’s Sheriff’s employee, works as a background investigator collecting an annual salary of $31,640, likely less than half of what he would have been making had he not been shot. He also collects his disability retirement.
Deputy George had to use his own leave until it was exhausted, as after working for about a month, he had to admit he was a physical wreck with the intestinal uproar of a chronically ill person, making it impossible to work. He was diagnosed with classic Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. That he was justified in shooting and killing the soldier didn’t make it any easier. Only about two percent of police officers have to fire their weapons at someone during their career.
Deputy Greb’s wounds were physical and likely psychological as well, as he came within a foot of having the bullet go through his brain, which was not shielded by a protective vest.
Deputy George’s wounds are not visible to the eye but three doctors, including the county’s doctor, say that he cannot return to work.
Deputy George was fired by St. Mary’s Sheriff Tim Cameron when he could not return to work. His insurance was terminated, his paycheck was ended and the fumbling and bumbling bureaucrats of the St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Department and county human resources department misled and lied to him at every opportunity.
Then, the spineless Sheriff Tim Cameron and his head hack, Major John Horne, made sure that his disability retirement request was denied.
The details of what happened to Deputy George are available in the May edition of The CHESAPEAKE TODAY which is now on newsstands across the Southern Maryland region.
America is supposed to be guided by the words chiseled across the front of the Supreme Court Building “Equal Justice for All”.
In Leonardtown, Md., the rule of law is often set aside by chiselers.
Deputy Greb deserved his retirement and a desk job that he could perform. So does Deputy George.