- The Washington Times - Monday, May 9, 2011

A Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officer indicted in 2002 in an off-duty gun-related incident in Montgomery County is facing fresh charges in another incident in Prince George’s County, in which he reportedly pointed a gun at a female friend, according to court records.

Christopher P. Whitehouse, a former MPD sergeant who was demoted as a result of the previous criminal charges, is under a peace order in Prince George’s County to stay away from the woman through October and is barred from possessing a gun, the records state.

According to charging documents filed in Prince George’s County District Court, a warrant was issued for Mr. Whitehouse on March 27 after he is said to have pulled his gun on a friend and pointed it at her head during an argument at the woman’s Cheverly home. He was arrested the next day and spent nearly one month in jail before posting bond, according to court records.

The two appeared to be on good terms before the altercation, as charging documents detail how Mr. Whitehouse was helping the woman unload groceries in her home that morning. However, after she confronted Mr. Whitehouse about a negative comment she thought he had previously made about her, he grew angry.

According to the charging documents, Mr. Whitehouse unholstered a handgun, grabbed the woman around her neck and pointed the weapon underneath her chin. “How do you like this bitch?” Mr. Whitehouse purportedly said to her, the records show. The woman’s boyfriend had come into the kitchen as Mr. Whitehouse was said to be pointing the gun at her and told him to put the weapon away. Mr. Whitehouse holstered the gun and told the boyfriend he was leaving.

The records state that Mr. Whitehouse hugged the woman on his way out and said, “I hope everything is OK, but you smell good, too,” and then took some beer from the woman’s refrigerator before leaving the house.

Mr. Whitehouse, 51, faces second-degree assault and reckless endangerment charges. Additional charges of first-degree assault, use of a handgun in the commission of a felony and carrying a handgun were dropped. It was the purported victim who later filed for the peace order against Mr. Whitehouse, which also requires that he participate in an alcohol program.

MPD spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said Mr. Whitehouse has been placed on noncontact status, which means his police powers have been revoked and he has restricted contact with the public. She declined to answer any further questions.

Mr. Whitehouse did not return calls to his home for comment.

Court records show that Mr. Whitehouse has had financial trouble in the past in the form of a number of tax liens from 1999 to 2010. But a separate incident from almost a decade ago resonates more closely with his most recent troubles.

In 2002, a Montgomery County grand jury indicted then-Sgt. Whitehouse on a felony gun charge along with charges of assault and driving under the influence of alcohol, court records state. According to a probable cause statement, in July of that year, while off-duty he called in a report to Montgomery County police of an aggressive driver in a vehicle with no tags. He identified himself as a police officer and pursued the driver, Alphonsus Obayuwana, who ran a red light and was then stopped at a gas station by county sheriff’s deputies, the police report states.

Police observed Mr. Whitehouse at the scene with alcohol on his breath and watery, bloodshot eyes, the report states. Mr. Obayuwana told police that during the pursuit, Mr. Whitehouse pointed a gun at him and used racial epithets, and that he was in fear for his life.

John Roth, an attorney for Mr. Whitehouse at the time, said the MPD presented witnesses at trial who testified that Mr. Whitehouse is not a racist. The lawyer said he further argued to a jury that there was no definitive evidence that Mr. Whitehouse pointed his gun, and introduced evidence to question Mr. Obayuwana’s credibility. After a four-day trial, a jury found Mr. Whitehouse guilty of driving while ability impaired, and he was sentenced to six months probation, the lawyer said.

After his conviction, Mr. Whitehouse returned to the street as an MPD officer.

Informed of his former client’s recent legal troubles, Mr. Roth said, “I wish him luck. He’s going to need it.”

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