Man gets 18 months in N.E. school grounds assault case
— A man received an 18-month jail term Tuesday for pulling a handgun on an offduty police officer who intervened while the defendant was pistol-whipping a rival on the grounds of North East Elementary School.
Cecil County Circuit Court Administrative Judge Keith A. Baynes imposed a five-year sentence on Rising Sun-area resident Carl Wayne Ewing III, 32, for a second-degree assault conviction and then suspended three and a half years of it.
The judge also imposed a consecutive, suspended 18-month sentence for a related possession of a dangerous weapon on school grounds conviction.
(In April, Ewing entered what were essentially “no contest” pleas to those charges, as part of a plea deal.)
Baynes ordered Ewing to serve three years of supervised probation after completing his 18-month term, which he will serve in the Cecil County Detention Center.
Assistant State’s Attorney Karl H. Fockler had sought three years of active prison incarceration for Ewing. For the second-degree assault conviction, Fockler recommended a maximum 10-year sentence with all but 18 months suspended. Fockler requested a consecutive 18-month sentence for weapon-onschool-grounds conviction.
Ewing’s sentencing came five days after his wife, Natasha Ann Ewing, 31, was sentenced to 10 days in jail after pleading guilty to second-degree assault for her role in the incident. As her husband had instructed, while struggling with the off-duty officer, she used force to retrieve a handgun that he had tossed to the ground. The off-duty officer’s teenage daughter had her foot on the weapon, trying to secure it, and Natasha Ewing slapped her face, grabbed the gun and fled with it.
At the time of the September incident, which occurred in broad daylight and amid extracurricular school sports activities, Carl 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 Sun-area high- way, court records show.
The incident started about 6:30 p.m. Sept. 16, 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 Carl 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, the suspect responded, “I’m not going to stop because this (expletive) robbed me,” police added.
At that point, the off-duty officer realized that the suspect 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 daughter to call 911, police added, the off-duty officer returned and discovered that the beaten man was gone and that the suspect was walking into a wooded area between the elementary and middle schools.
After catching up with the suspect alongside a fence near North Middle School School sports fields, the off-duty officer struggled with Carl 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 off-duty officer in subduing the suspect and taking him into custody.