Report: Deadly Force Justified in Maryland Motorist's Death

The 12-page report was issued Monday by the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office

Montgomery County Sheriff's Office car
Montgomery County Sheriff's Office

A Maryland sheriff’s deputy was justified in using deadly force on a man who caused two traffic accidents and attacked the deputy with a piece of wood, according to prosecutors.

The 12-page report issued Monday by the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office said Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputy Frank Pruitt’s actions on Feb. 6 were “reasonable under the circumstances.”

Montgomery County Sheriff Darren Popkin said at the time that a driver swerving to avoid the man crashed into a telephone pole, and the man, identified as Kevin Costlow, crashed head-on into a second vehicle at an intersection. Popkin said he got out and used a large piece of wood to try to attack the people he had collided with.

Pruitt was driving to work when he stopped at the scene in Gaithersburg to help. Costlow turned on him and attacked with the wood, hitting him on the head and shoulders, the report said. Popkin said Pruitt tried to use his Taser to stop Costlow, but the attack continued.

Pruitt felt his life was threatened and used force to stop him, Popkin said. According to the report, Pruitt said it wasn't until he fired a 12th shot that Costlow fell to the ground.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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