Man facing time in school attack
— A man accused of pointing a handgun at an off-duty police officer on the grounds of North East Elementary School — after that officer caught the suspect pistol-whipping a rival there — is facing up to 13 years in prison after accepting a plea deal.
The defendant, Carl Wayne Ewing III, 32, of the 200 block of Hopewell Road near Rising Sun, entered “not guilty” pleas to seconddegree assault and possession of a dangerous weapon on school property during a Cecil County Circuit Court on Tuesday.
However, as part of those pleas, Ewing indicated that he agreed with the information contained in the prosecution’s statement of facts concerning the September incident and, therefore, would not challenge it.
It is similar to an Alford plea, in which a defendant maintains his innocence while acknowledging that the state possesses enough evidence to convict him at trial.
The judge found Ewing guilty of those two offenses after Assistant State’s
Attorney Karl Fockler read the agreed-upon statement of facts into the record. As part of the plea deal, prosecutors dropped a related first-degree assault charge.
Sentencing is set for June 7, allowing time for a presentencing investigation into Ewing’s background and criminal record.
At the time of the Sept. 16 incident, which occurred in broad daylight and, at times, amid extra-curricular school sports activities, Ewing was on supervised probation for an assault conviction relating to a 2012 case in which he stood accused of beating his wife with a tire iron along a Rising Sunarea highway, court records show.
The incident started about 6:30 p.m. when the off-duty Delaware law enforcement officer heard yelling, crying and repeated screams of “stop” while visiting someone at a residence in Westover Place, which is close to North East Elementary School at 301 Thomas Ave., police reported.
After following the sounds
to a wooded area on North East Elementary School grounds, the off-duty officers saw Ewing beating a prone man, later identified as Rockie Allen Poe III, 21, a North East resident who, at that time, was wanted on a warrant charging him with theft and malicious destruction in an unrelated case, police said.
When the off-duty officer identified himself and ordered the suspect to stop, Ewing responded, “I’m not going to stop because this (expletive) robbed me,” police added.
At that point, the off-duty officer realized that Ewing was holding a handgun at his right side and that he had pistol-whipping the man with it, according to police. The suspect turned on the off-duty officer when he ordered him to drop the weapon, police reported.
The off-duty officer retreated, walking backward slowly before leaving the scene, police said. After instructing his adult daughter
to call 911, police added, the off-duty officer returned and discovered that the beaten man was gone and that Ewing was walking into a wooded area between the elementary and middle schools.
After catching up with Ewing alongside a fence near North Middle School School sports fields, the offduty officer struggled with Ewing while trying to arrest him, police reported.
Classes were not in session at either school during the incident. Extracurricular activities were taking place at the middle school at 200 E. Cecil Ave., however, and the North East Indians of the Cecil County Junior Football League were preparing to start practice. Numerous boys, parents and
coaches were nearby and saw the struggle.
Two of those coaches ran over and assisted the offduty officer in subduing Ewing and taking him into custody.
Ewing had discarded the handgun before the off-duty officer caught him, police reported. His wife, Natasha Ann Ewing, 31, who had arrived at the scene, retrieved the handgun and then sped away in a red car, police said. Natasha Ewing allegedly had slapped the off-duty officer’s adult daughter in the face as she, too, tried to retrieve the discarded gun, police added.
Cecil County Sheriff’s Office deputies captured Natasha Ewing in the 200 block of Bridge Street in Elkton about five hours later, po-
The investigation lead CCSO detectives to the woods in the 800 block of Blue Ball Road, north of Elkton, where they recovered the handgun that Ewing had brandished during the incident and that his wife had taken before investigators could confiscate as evidence, according to police.
Natasha Ewing is scheduled to be sentenced on June 1. During a hearing earlier this month, she pleaded guilty to seconddegree assault for her role in the incident and, in exchange, prosecutors dropped related charges, court records show. The offense carries a maximum 10-year sentence.