Officer Convicted For Knee-Drop On Suspect Who Was Spitting Blood On Him

Rockville, MD – A Montgomery County police officer was convicted of assault on Thursday for using force on a suspect who split blood at police officers.

The incident occurred on July 3 at a McDonald’s in Aspen Hill when officers from the Montgomery County Police Department’s (MCPD) 4th District Special Assignment Team were conducting a drug sting operation on a psychedelic mushroom dealer at a McDonald’s, WTTG reported.

Undercover officers concluded the drug deal with 19-year-old Arnaldo Pesoa but when they went to take him into custody, he resisted arrest and fought with them.

Multiple videos of the incident were filmed by bystanders from inside and outside the restaurant.

A cell phone video filmed inside the restaurant showed the officers trying to take Pesoa into custody as he fought them.

The video showed that it took four officers to get handcuffs on the suspect, who screamed and fought the entire time.

Once Pesoa was handcuffed, the officers stood him up and walked him outside, the video showed.

The suspect continued fighting with officers after they took him outside, so the officers put Pesoa down on the sidewalk to search him for weapons and drugs.

The video showed that Pesoa continued to fight officers and resisted arrest from the ground.

When he started spitting blood at them, 32-year-old Montgomery County Police Officer Kevin Moris dropped his knee on the suspect to stop the attack, the video showed.

However, Pesoa's head was off of the ground at the time which resulted in his head slamming into the pavement.

“I just spit my spit my f--king blood on your foot,” Pesoa screamed at the officer in the video.

So Officer Moris pulled Pesoa’s shirt up over his head to act as a spit shield, the video showed.

Pesoa was arrested and taken to the Central Processing Unit for booking, according to WTTG.

He was charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance, one count of attempted distribution of a controlled substance, one count of resisting arrest, and one count of second-degree assault.

Pesoa was released on a $5,000 bond, WTTG reported.

Cell phone videos of the incident filmed by bystanders quickly went viral and sparked outrage in the community.

Instead of supporting his officer and explaining why a police officer would use force against a suspect trying to infect officers with potentially infectious blood-borne pathogens, then-acting Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones suspended Officer Moris and he has been on paid administrative leave since that time.

A Montgomery County jury convicted Officer Moris of misdemeanor second-degree assault on Thursday after a day of deliberations, WJZ reported.

He was acquitted of the misconduct in office charge.

Morris’ attorney, Morgan Leigh, had argued that his client was justified in his use of force because the suspect had spit blood at him twice and threatened to do it again, WJZ reported.

“Spitting blood is a vile, dangerous assault that Kevin was exposed to twice before dropping his body weight down on Arnaldo Pesoa to stop the threat,” Leigh said.

“A use of force is not pretty,” she said. “A use of force is violent. It is violence to prevent and stop further violence. And officers have a duty to use force when necessary to protect themselves or others.”

Assistant State’s Attorney John Lalos, who never even interviewed the officer before charging him, called the use of force a violent and unreasonable response driven by Officer Moris’ frustration that the suspect wouldn’t follow police commands, WJZ reported.

“It was violent. It was unreasonable,” Assistant State’s Attorney John Lalos told jurors during the trial. “And, ultimately, it was punitive. This was a tax, ladies and gentlemen. This was a tax for Arnaldo Pesoa’s misbehavior, noncompliance, language, disrespect — perceived or real.”

The Montgomery County police union was furious about the jury’s verdict and warned in a press release that making police work political could result in tragedy.

“Lodge 35 is very disappointed in today’s verdict,” Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 35 wrote in a press release on Thursday evening. “The jury heard two days of testimony and deliberated for many hours to second-guess Officer Moris. Officer Moris, who was previously exposed to blood-borne pathogens, made a split-second decision to defend himself and react to a deliberate spitting assault against him.”

“Officer Moris went to work that day to do his job, protect his community. The subject who spit on him had the intent that same day to put illegal drugs on the streets of Montgomery County. The state’s attorney charged Officer Moris prior to conducting an investigation and never asked to speak with Officer Moris. This was a political case,” the FOP continued.

“Unfortunately, all good police officers must now evaluate every action they may take in the context of the possible political consequences to them and their families,” the press release warned. “Officers now know that they will be subject to politics, armchair analysis and Monday-morning quarterbacking that may result in criminal charges with no support from their police chief or elected officials.”

“We pray this will not result in tragedy,” the FOP added.

Officer Moris will be scheduled for sentencing on another date, according to WJZ.

You can see the video of the incident below. WARNING - Language:

Comments (91)
No. 1-27
Just-My-Thoughts.
Just-My-Thoughts.

Judges, DA'S and ATTORNEYS need to experience the real life on the street. What the hell would they do in a similar circumstance? Oh wait.........they have guards around them to take the ship someone might take out on them, sorry - I mis-spoke. Time for officers to get into another line of work or look for a place where they're respected and appreciated.

Ferret guy
Ferret guy

I would have kicked his teeth in, so I think he should be happy he just got his head thumped

LynnSB
LynnSB

More ignorant bullshit if somebody was directly spitting blood on you what the hell would you do considering aids and hepatitis and all the other lovely little diseases out there what was he supposed to do say oh please don’t do that you people are goddamn ignorant all the police officers shut up and fucking quit let you son of a bitches fend for yourselves

rvigneault
rvigneault

what a freakin scumbag, he needs worse than that

Cop Watch
Cop Watch

this POS pig should be in prison!

Cop Watch
Cop Watch

the FDA has listed psychedelic mushrooms for use in medical treatments.

Keeblertime
Keeblertime

Bout time pigs get to face consequences like the rest of us! Hopefully he'll never get to work in law enforcement ever again.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

the cop has a record for getting upset. Does this sentence come with jail time? Hopefully so, because if I did that I'd certainly be going to jail.

Side note, shrooms shouldn't be illegal if alcohol is legal. No one has ever died due to mushrooms.

tfort
tfort

Why can’t cops grasp they they will be recorded? A cop’s job is not to punish and this is what got the cop indicted and found guilty.

The Chief isn’t your friend, union rep, cheerleader or anything else. He cannot support a rogue cop just because he is a cop. The Chief has bigger responsibilities than being your support system.

61mouse
61mouse

What did he do wrong ?? He was just trying.to knock some common sense into the asshole

BLUsupporter
BLUsupporter

I support law enforcement... that's why I have an account here. My brother's a cop, my spouse is a retired LEO, but this officer is very lucky he didn't kill the suspect with the force he used on him. The suspect wasn't even in a position to spit on the officer when kneed. I was a paramedic for over a decade and had plenty of people try to spit on me - it's unnerving and dangerous; but there are much more professional ways of dealing with it than resorting to blows.

suzieb
suzieb

Freakin idiot deserved it! I'd do the same if he spit his dirty blood on me! Sorry the office was convicted because he most definitely does not need to be!

bryantrent
bryantrent

Crazy

rds40
rds40

Let the druggies run the town. Just stop addressing their crimes and let the residents deal with them. Time to taker a "not my problem" attitude.

JohnPollastro
JohnPollastro

Another piece of shit drug addict that thinks he was invincible. When you assault an officer by spitting blood at them they should fear for their lives. Who knows what that scumbag is carrying. If people can film with cameras then live PD should be in every city and record every losers.

Stanracer
Stanracer

Another example of the flawed jury system.

LEO0301
LEO0301

There was a time I used to be proactive and then a buddy of mine had to shoot and kill someone who was trying to kill him. It was in a black neighborhood and of course after the shooting the bros were all upset, claiming it was racially motivated. Even though their was video backing the officer, our coward of a chief refused to back the officer. Ultimately the use of force was determined to be justified but it was a lesson to me. After that I limited my exposure as an officer and bided my time to retirement. For those of you considering a career in law enforcement, think twice before making that decision. Never, ever, count on your department to back you if they are taking heat from some citizens. They will leave you hung out to dry if it makes them look good. Right chief?

colonelorville
colonelorville

The number of people finding fault with the police seems to be increasing and used by too many politicians to their advantage. Trump is not my favorite president but I know that he is more likely to support them than the speaker of the house from San Francisco which is one of the most difficult places to be a Police Officer.

tfort
tfort

Why would I run. I have been in dangerous situations and kept my cool. I will tell you I was scared out of my mind, but I didn’t act violently to get revenge.

tfort
tfort

I think ferrets are funny. I haven’t seen anyone sense university own a ferrrt.

tuggingalong
tuggingalong

I guess that’s why I never have jury duty, the defense attorney says, “Oh, he has a job, lives in the south, pay taxes, and supports Trump. There is no way he’ll let my hood rat off Scott free.

Caroparks53
Caroparks53

Troll alert..idiots hate cops so ignore them n they will get bored and go away..

Shirleybaird571
Shirleybaird571

This is a shame. Police doing there job.

Jrosty
Jrosty

So glad I re retired , law enforcement is getting harder and harder because of politics

61mouse
61mouse

Love watching LIBE PD and all the ones that would video " @their convenience" bitch because they are being filmed and try to hit the cameras

Brian N
Brian N

Glad I'm out of it

spd522
spd522

Glad the officer didn't hurt his knee.