- The Washington Times - Friday, February 14, 2003

A Prince George's County judge was arrested at a Largo restaurant this week and charged with disturbing the peace, law enforcement officials said.
Judge Herman Curtis Dawson, 48, of Mitchellville, was released on personal recognizance hours after his arrest Wednesday night at the Outback Steakhouse on Lottsford Court.
Officers took him immediately to the Prince George's County Detention Center, where he was booked.
"This will be handled like every other case," Prince George's County State's Attorney Glenn C. Ivey said of the misdemeanor count, which will be handled by a Howard County prosecutor to avoid a conflict of interest. "We're just letting it run through the normal process."
Judge Dawson appeared early yesterday before a District Court commissioner, requested an expedited trial date and was released pending trial. Mr. Ivey said as of yesterday afternoon no judge had been assigned to the case.
County police officers said they arrested Judge Dawson after unsuccessful efforts to verbally resolve an employee's complaint of a disorderly man inside the restaurant.
Shortly before 10 p.m., officers arrived and found Judge Dawson at the bar where he was arguing loudly with two friends, court documents state. After repeatedly being told to leave, he repeatedly resisted and physically refused, drawing the attention of other restaurant patrons.
"Why do I have to leave? Do you know who I am? I am a judge! I don't have to do nothing!" he said, according to court documents.
Near the eatery's entry, Judge Dawson continued to resist and assumed a boisterous demeanor, court documents state. He was escorted outdoors, instructed to leave and resumed "an aggressive manner by raising his right hand and index finger."
After a final instruction to leave that was disregarded, county police charged him with disturbing the peace.
Police investigators took statements from several witnesses, including some who are not employed by the restaurant.
"You hate to see someone like Judge Dawson go through something like this," Mr. Ivey said. "He has gone above and beyond the call of duty. He is a pillar in the community, especially for juvenile issues. By all accounts he's been an excellent judge; a longtime public servant."
Documents state that Judge Dawson refused to provide the necessary identification information upon arrival at the county Department of Corrections.
Judge Dawson was charged with one count of disturbing the peace, which is punishable by a maximum penalty of $500 and 60 days in jail, police said.
Judge Dawson, who has been a Circuit Court judge in the county for four years and routinely presides over criminal court cases, was not available for comment, according to an assistant.

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