- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 15, 2012

A man killed by a Prince George’s County sheriff’s deputy Wednesday night had been charged in a D.C. kidnapping case this summer that led to the fatal shooting of another man, according to court documents and law enforcement sources.

Franklin H. Sweeney, 40, was killed Wednesday night in Riverdale by a deputy attempting to serve him with a peace order, a sheriff’s office spokeswoman confirmed.

A woman who had dated Mr. Sweeney sought the peace order after testifying against him in the kidnapping case, according to the peace order, which was initially filed Oct. 31 in Prince George’s County District Court. In a handwritten petition seeking the order, the woman states that Mr. Sweeney repeatedly called her to harass her. She sought the order a day after he left a pumpkin in her driveway carved with the words “coward and liar,” she said in the petition.

“I believe this continued harassment and threats is due to this testimony,” wrote the woman, who was not the target of the attempted kidnapping. “Franklin Sweeney contends that he does not know why our dating relationship ended and this is the reason he continues to call me, write me, and come to my house. This is not true. … His continued alcohol abuse and resulting bizarre behavior resulted in a cease of relationship.”

A District Court judge approved a temporary order, which was renewed Nov. 8, that was supposed to bar Mr. Sweeney from contacting or threatening the woman or coming to her home through at least Nov. 29, when a hearing was set in the case. While she declined to discuss details of the peace order, sheriff’s office spokeswoman Sharon Taylor said deputies attempted to serve a peace order filed Nov. 8 against Mr. Sweeney on four other occasions.

The deputy, identified Thursday as Paul Perriello, went to Mr. Sweeney’s home on 63rd Avenue in Riverdale on Wednesday night and was let inside the home by a woman. While Deputy Perriello was inside, Mr. Sweeney “appeared from the rear of the home and displayed a handgun,” Ms. Taylor said. The deputy fired his gun, hitting Mr. Sweeney, who died a short time later at Prince George’s Hospital Center.

Sources close to the investigation said the weapon Mr. Sweeney held was some sort of a replica or a BB gun, not an actual handgun.

Deputy Perriello has been placed on administrative leave, per department policy, as the incident is investigated, Ms. Taylor said. Sheriff’s officials said Deputy Perriello has more than 20 years of law enforcement experience, though apparently it was not within the agency as a newsletter published by the sheriff’s office in July listed the deputy among its new hires.

Prince George’s County police are investigating the shooting while the sheriff’s office will conduct an internal investigation.

Maryland court records indicate Mr. Sweeney has a history of alcohol-related violations, including two open cases filed this year in which he was cited for drinking alcohol in a prohibited place.

More serious charges, which were later dismissed, were brought against Mr. Sweeney in June, when he was arrested and charged in an attempted kidnapping at a D.C. bus stop.

Another suspect in the attempted kidnapping, Chester Crestwell, was fatally shot on June 20 by a Metro Transit Police officer who was investigating the report. The charges against Mr. Sweeney were dismissed in July.

Charging documents filed in D.C. Superior Court in the case against Mr. Sweeney state that Crestwell drove up to a group of women at a bus stop in the 4100 block of Minnesota Avenue Northeast on June 17 and told the women he was a law enforcement officer and that he was offering free rides. Then Crestwell motioned to his waist as if he had a badge or a gun and ordered the women to get in the Mercedes-Benz he was driving. Mr. Sweeney was seated in the passenger seat. The women refused to get in the car, and Crestwell attempted to grab one of them and force her into the car. The woman ran but noted the car’s license plate number, which Metro Transit Police used to track Crestwell to his home in Lanham.

A few hours after the incident, the Metro Transit Police detective investigating the case got a call from someone who identified himself as Mr. Sweeney, court documents state. The man told the detective, identified in court records as “D. Alvarez” that if the investigator continued to look for him, he “would call the federal police” and then hung up.

Three days after that interaction, Detective Alvarez went to Crestwell’s home. The court records state that Crestwell “brandished a handgun at Alvarez, at which point Alvarez retreated to his vehicle in an attempt to flee the area.” Crestwell then crashed his truck into Detective Alvarez’ vehicle and “there was an exchange of gunfire” during which Crestwell was fatally shot.

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