Danny Lee Harvell pled guilty on July 19 to two counts of first degree assault and possession to distribute marijuana. He faces 25 years with a suspension of three to four years in prison and five years of probation. Harvell, 27, is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 25.
Danny Lee Harvell pled guilty July 19 to assaulting a police officer. (Photos by State’s Attorney’s Office)
In front of family and friends, Harvell, a former Temple Hills resident who lived in the 6800 block of Tall Oak Drive, was brought into the courtroom only in handcuffs, wearing a light colored shirt and black trousers. He waived his rights of having a trial by a jury.
Officer Michael O’ Connell, the policeman whose injuries required extensive surgery, was also in court. During the altercation, O’Connell broke his femur, suffered nerve damage to one of his arms and has back complications. He is still able to remain on full time duty.
“I am pleased that Mr. Harvell has taken responsibility for his actions,” said Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks in a statement. “I would like to be clear that injuring those who protect and serve our community is unacceptable and I hope that this sends that message. Further, I hope this defendant spends this time to reflect on his actions and decides to positively contribute to society upon his release.”
The series of events that led to Harvell’s arrest started when he was sitting in his car near an alleged drug house in District Heights, Md. on July 15, 2015. Police approached Harvell’s car, smelled marijuana, and one officer asked him to get out of the vehicle.
Harvell refused the officer’s request and the officer then opened the car door. Harvell slammed it shut; the officer then reached his arm into the car. Harvell put the car into drive and sped off with the officer hanging onto the vehicle. The vehicle traveled for approximately 100 yards until it crashed into a tree.
Harvell fled on foot and called a family member to pick him up. Harvell later turned himself in to the county’s Department of Corrections.
The Prince George’s County Police Department on July 23, 2015, charged Harvell with attempted second degree murder, first degree assault, and second degree assault on a law enforcement officer plus other charges.
Harvell had also been arrested on July 4, 2015 on a charge of possession with the intent to distribute.
“We reviewed the evidence, we looked at the circumstances as to what happened, everything that was going on that day,” said John E. Erzen, communications director at the State’s Attorney Office at a press conference after the hearing.
“This does two things – it holds the defendant accountable injuring a police officer who was performing his duties to keep our communities safe, and after he serves his incarcerated time, he’s going to be looking at more than 20 years of backup time that will hang over his head during his five years of probation,” Erzen added. “We feel that will serve as a big deterrent to keep him from doing something else with the understanding that if he does he could be subject to all of that time in prison.”