On May 28, 2014, at approximately 1:55 p.m., an Anne Arundel County School Crossing Guard reported being assaulted on the parking lot of Northeast High School, 1121 Duvall Highway, Pasadena, Maryland. Investigation would reveal this incident stemmed from events that occurred the preceding day.
On May 27, 2014, at approximately 2:00 p.m., the School Crossing Guard, along with a partner, was on-duty, wearing the complete Anne Arundel County School Crossing Guard uniform, and was performing her assignment in the marked pedestrian crossing in front of Northeast High School. A Crossing Guard’s lawful authority to direct vehicles and pedestrians on a highway or on school grounds is derived from Maryland Motor Vehicle Law, §21-107, and Anne Arundel County Code, 2005, Article 12, Title 2, Subtitle 101.
Utilizing an audible whistle blast, hand signals and other visual safety equipment to stop vehicular traffic, the Crossing Guard stopped motorists at the school’s entrance along Duvall Highway to allow pedestrians to cross the street. As traffic was stopped, the Crossing Guard saw a blue Chevrolet Sonic automobile, being operated by a white female driver. The Chevrolet was attempting to exit the Northeast High School parking lot by turning right and continuing on Duvall Highway. As the Crossing Guard continued to direct motorists to remain stopped, the driver of the Chevrolet ignored the Crossing Guard’s visual and auditory directions. The driver drove through the marked crosswalk containing pedestrians and continued right on to Duvall Highway. The Crossing Guard was unable to determine the registration plate number of the vehicle at the time, but she recognized the driver’s actions were violations of Maryland Motor Vehicle Law.
The following day, on May 28, 2014 at approximately 1:55p.m., the Crossing Guard was again on-duty and in the complete Anne Arundel County School Crossing Guard uniform when she saw a blue Chevrolet Sonic automobile parked on the parking lot of Northeast High School. The Crossing Guard immediately recognized this vehicle as the same vehicle involved in the traffic violations the preceding day. The Chevrolet was parked in an area readily accessible to the public, and the Crossing Guard approached the vehicle to obtain a digital photograph of the registration plate. The Crossing Guard’s intent was to provide this information to her supervisors and facilitate a potential police investigation into the traffic infractions of May 27, 2014.
The Crossing Guard approached the vehicle close enough to take a photograph with the camera on her cellular telephone. An occupant exited the driver’s seat and quickly approached the Crossing Guard. The Crossing Guard immediately recognized the occupant, later identified as Brittany Anne Wenzel, as the driver who committed the traffic infractions on May 27, 2014.
Wenzel approached the Crossing Guard, cursed at her, and told the Crossing Guard that she was not going to take pictures of her and her car. As she made these statements, Wenzel physically grabbed the Crossing Guard’s wrist and hand to forcibly take the cellular phone. The Guard struggled to fend off Wenzel’s attack and retain possession of her property. During the struggle, the Crossing Guard sustained redness to her wrist and arm. The Crossing Guard successfully retained her phone, upon which time Wenzel slapped the Crossing Guard in the face. The strike left an area of redness on the left side of the Crossing Guard’s face. The Crossing Guard indicated she was calling police, resulting in Wenzel entering her vehicle and driving away.
Wenzel was later located a short time later and positively identified by her Maryland Driver's License. Continued investigation indicates Wenzel came to the school to pick up her boyfriend. She attempted to stop the Crossing Guard from taking a photograph of her car, and a struggle over the phone ensued.
“Behavior like this will not be tolerated,” said Anne Arundel County Police Chief Kevin Davis. “Our Crossing Guards have the sacred responsibility of protecting our children and they don’t deserve to be subjected to assaults and threats by arrogant and impatient drivers.”
On Friday, May 30, 2014, an arrest warrant was issued charging Brittany Anne Wenzel with attempted robbery two counts of second degree assault, attempted theft under $1000 and the following traffic offenses that occurred on May 27, 2014:
§21-107 (c) Willfully Disobeying Direction of a School Crossing Guard
§21-502 (a2) Driver Failure to Stop for Pedestrian in Crosswalk
§21-504 (b) Driver Failing to Sound Horn Warning to Pedestrian
Suspect: Brittany Anne Wenzel, 18, 220 Inlet Drive, Pasadena, Maryland 21122