Driver Accused of Striking Crossing Guard in Glen Burnie Plans to File Lawsuit, His Attorney Says
After a video seemingly exonerates a driver accused of striking and injuring a crossing guard in Glen Burnie, the defense attorney representing the man says his client was falsely accused and he plans to file a lawsuit on the man's behalf.
Joseph Hernandez, 32, of Glen Burnie, was arrested on September 10, 2021, and charged with second degree assault just one day after reports alleged that he became impatient while waiting at a stop, and intentionally struck the crossing guard with his vehicle. Court records accused Mr. Hernandez of driving toward the crossing guard, identified as Sandra Eaton, intentionally striking her leg, causing a minor injury.
The video provided to Report Annapolis by the defense attorney representing Mr. Hernandez appears to show there was never any contact between the vehicle and Ms. Eaton. "Mr. Hernandez was arrested, held without bail by the commissioner, forced to spend time in jail and had his reputation permanently tarnished all for fraudulent accusations," Attorney James E. Keatts said. "I do intend to file a civil case on Mr. Hernandez’ behalf."
Attorney Keatts said Mr. Hernandez is experiencing immense shame for something for which he is innocent and has been threatened with statements such as “How about I hit you with my car?”
According to Attorney Keatts, Mr. Hernandez and his family are attempting to avoid their regular activities while this dark cloud hangs over him. "He is dealing with the embarrassment of getting locked up, the stress and anxiety of potential jail time, legal expenses, etc."
Online court records show a trial is scheduled in the case for December. 'The length of time it takes for the State to dismiss these charges strengthens the civil action that we will aggressively pursue,' says Attorney Keatts. 'These charges should have been dismissed days ago.'
UPDATE: The Anne Arundel County State's Attorney released the following statement:
"The video of the intersection helped us determine that the contact appears to be the result of the driver straightening his wheel and starting to reverse to back out of the crosswalk rather than the result of either a reckless or intentional act on his part," the statement said. "Because the contact did not rise to the level of a criminal offense as an intentional or reckless act and there was no actual notice to the driver of any injuries at the time that legally required him to remain at the scene, the Office of the State’s Attorney has decided to enter all the charges Nolle Prosequi."