A D.C. man is facing charges after pointing a loaded handgun at two police officers while they were sitting in their patrol car.
According to the four-page charging document, the officers, a male and a female, were in full uniform sitting in a marked Metropolitan Police Department patrol car in the 300 block of 37th Street SE just steps from Sousa Middle School about 8 p.m. Saturday evening when Trueheart approached the officers’ vehicle and tapped on the driver’s side window.
As the officer rolled the vehicle window down, Trueheart stated, “I can easily do this,” reached into his waistband to pull out a semi-automatic pistol, and reached into the car and pointed the gun at the officers.
The officer in the driver's seat struck Trueheart’s right wrist “in an upward motion redirecting point of aim at the officers and grabbed his wrist,” according to the charging document.
The two officers were able to get the gun away from Tueheart and draw their services weapons. At that point Trueheart surrendered. Chief Peter Newsham said nobody was injured.
“When you have a confrontation like that, guns are involved, a very high risk situation thankfully the officers were trained in a way to resolve that without anybody getting hurt,” Newsham said. The chief attributed the officers’ training for helping them to resolve the incident “without any significant use of force.”
Newsham told News4 the incident illustrates the perils of being a police officer.
“It reminds you of how dangerous this job can be. God forbid we could have been at the hospital with one of our police officers or even the suspect could have been injured,” Newsham said.
In an interview with detectives, Trueheart denied trying to hurt the officers. According to an affidavit filed by detectives investigating the incident, Trueheart said he had found the gun and was only trying to turn it over to police, but he did not tell detectives where he found it.
Newsham said he will let the courts sort it out from here but added the officers involved saw it very differently.
“I can tell you, from the impression of the officers, they thought it was a highly volatile situation,” Newsham said.
The two officers were working an overtime detail as part of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Fall Crime Initiative at the time of the incident. The officers had just come from a holiday turkey giveaway in the Ward 7 neighborhood.
At the time of his arrest, Trueheart had several outstanding warrants for failing to appear in court and other charges. Trueheart is due in court Wednesday morning. Calls and emails to his attorney were not returned.
The department is taking the incident seriously, issuing a safety alert to all MPD officers to “remain vigilant and be cognizant of their surroundings at all times.” The alert goes on to warn officers who might encounter Trueheart in the future to “utilize EXTREEME CAUTION” and to contact the department’s intelligence branch immediately.