As of December 3, Colonial Beach Town Councilman Stephen Cirbee’s court case has left the General District Court and found its way up to the grand jury. Cirbee was facing a charge of assault on a law enforcement officer which stemmed from an alleged incident during the Potomac River Fest in Colonial Beach on June 7, the day of the Fireman and EMS parade.
According to witness testimony, Officer Gray, then a part of the Colonial Beach Police – he is now working for the Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Office – blocked off the streets at his section of the parade route down Colonial Avenue with traffic cones at Douglas Avenue as well as his squad car. While Gray and another witness gave conflicting reports on exactly when Cirbee drove up Garfield Avenue in his golf cart, both agree that he drove the golf cart around Gray’s squad car, only to be stopped by Gray, who immediately pointed out that the road was closed off due to the upcoming parade.
Cirbee allegedly requested to be let through, owing to his status as a councilman, to which Gray kept telling him to turn the cart around and find another way to wherever he was going, as the road was closed. After a bit of back and forth, it is alleged that Cirbee hit the accelerator and zipped across the parade route over to Douglas Avenue, running over Gray’s foot in the process. Gray jumped back when he felt the tire on his foot, but suffered no lasting damage, if any at all, to his compressed extremity. He filed a report later on, saying that he still had a job to do with watching his intersection before, during, and after the parade, and thus didn’t feel any need to pursue Cirbee at the time.
Cirbee was not arrested until the night of June 19, the night of the Colonial Beach town council meeting, though that is not where Cirbee was arrested. In fact, according to Gray, he and the rest of the Colonial Beach Police had been under orders to not arrest Cirbee at the meeting. When asked by Cirbee’s attorney, Robert Vaughn, about the gap of time between the incident and the arrest, Gray stated that he had been told that an outside agency would be looking into the incident. However, 12 days later, it turned out that had not been the case, and the Colonial Beach Police would be making the arrest at Cirbee’s house.
With Gray’s testimony, Vaughn took issue with the officer’s tendency to use certain words interchangeably, such as agitated and irate when it came to describing Cirbee’s demeanor at the time of the incident.
For the full article, pick up the latest Westmoreland News 12/11/19