PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY

Retired TV Photographer Seeks Justice After ATM Attack in Prince George's County

“That burned like holy hell. So I backed up and I tripped, and she was just standing, swinging that damn tire iron, trying to do me in,” the victim said. 

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A man who says he was attacked by a woman with a tire iron and pepper spray worries that he may not see justice after a prosecutor said a call for witnesses in the case went unanswered. 

Seventy-two-year-old Mike Murphy is a retired TV photographer who worked for 25 years at WUSA. News4's Pat Collins worked with Murphy, and said though he is small in stature, he had a reputation for getting some pretty big shots.

In May of 2020, Murphy took a shot at a PNC Bank parking lot in Prince George's County - not with his camera, but from a woman who attacked him with pepper spray and a tire iron. 

He was second in line at the ATM when he said a woman tried to butt in. 

“I say to her, ‘Ma’am, I’m next,’ because I’m right here. She says, ‘No, you’re not,’” Murphy recalled. “She gets up in my face right here. So close, that our masks touch like we were kissing. Yuck.” 

At some point, Murphy alleges that the woman attacked with pepper spray.

“That burned like holy hell. So I backed up and I tripped, and she was just standing, swinging that damn tire iron, trying to do me in,” he said. 

Police tracked down the 36-year-old suspect and charged her with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and unlawful use of pepper spray. 

Last week, the case went to court. Murphy received a letter telling him to be there for the trial, but when he got there, he never got to tell his story to the judge.

Instead, Murphy was told that the case against the woman was dropped.

The prosecutor said it was because they received no response to a call for witnesses. However, they added that they are reviewing the facts to see which charges are appropriate and whether the case will again be brought to trial. 

So, it’s possible Murphy might yet get his day in court. 

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