Press Releases

On-duty Officer Found Unconscious, Inebriated Behind the Wheel of His Patrol Car

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Baltimore, Maryland, (April 19, 2019) - Former Baltimore City Police Officer, Aaron Heilman, 27, pled guilty to driving while under the influence of alcohol and misconduct in office. In October of 2018, the defendant drove his BPD patrol car under the influence of alcohol while on duty. The defendant will be sentenced for his conduct on August 9, 2019. In accordance with a plea agreement, the defendant faces a maximum of two concurrent one-year sentences with all but 30 days suspended, 18 months of supervised probation, and all standard DUI penalties. As such, the defendant must use an ignition interlock device on his vehicle and be subject to the Drunk Driver Monitoring, M.A.A.D., and Shock Trauma programs, and an alcohol restriction on his license.

Assistant State’s Attorney Brandon Jones of the Public Trust and Police Integrity Unit prosecuted this case.

On October 2, 2018, at approximately 1:09 p.m., a street surveillance camera captured Officer Aaron Heilman’s patrol car drive up and park in the 700 Block of Washington Boulevard. At around 1:30 p.m., two civilians working nearby noticed that the parked police car had been sitting for a while with its top lights flashing. When they went to investigate the matter further, they observed a uniformed BPD officer, slumped over while appearing to be asleep behind the steering wheel. The witnesses later reported that they became increasingly alarmed when the officer remained unresponsive through their attempts to wake him by knocking on the car windows. Eventually, the officer regained consciousness and rolled down his window to groggily assure witnesses that he was fine. One witness reported that he detected the scent of alcohol coming from inside the patrol car.

Minutes after the civilians walked away from the officer, Heilman was observed to have fallen back asleep. A BPD Sergeant was dispatched to investigate the officer, who, at the time, was working overtime. One of the civilians at the scene gestured to the Sergeant that the officer had been drinking. Upon further investigation, the Sergeant also concluded that the effects of alcohol were apparent from the defendant’s breath, walk, speech, and eyes.

Police subsequently transported Officer Heilman to the district office where he voluntarily agreed to submit to a breathalyzer. The breathalyzer found that his blood-alcohol level was 0.22., which is almost three times over Maryland’s legal limit. Police later searched the defendant’s patrol car and located one empty bottle of wine inside.

“This is a serious matter of public safety from an officer who swore to defend and protect the citizens of Baltimore,” said State’s Attorney Mosby. “As the chief prosecutor for Baltimore City, I took an oath to uphold justice and treat every individual within the jurisdiction of Baltimore City equally and fairly under the law. This office is uncompromisingly committed to restoring community confidence in law enforcement by creating a fair and equitable justice system for all— regardless of age, race, color, creed, or occupation.”

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Contact: Melba Saunders Phone: (443) 984-6078 Email: msaunders@stattorney.org