City Desk

More Than One Road Rage Cover-up?

Two road rage incidents may have been downplayed by D.C. authorities in March. One is currently attracting a good bit of attention, the other not so much.

Thomas Bagnall and William Greenback, two Voice of America reporters, have filed a District civil suit alleging they were plowed into on March 23 by an angry and impatient FBI employee driving a Hyundai Accent. The two were unloading camera equipment outside the National Press Club at 14th and F streets NW, when Joy Ellen Mullinax allegedly lost her temper and drove her car into Bagnall, and then, moments later, Greenback.

FBI agents showed up, and Mullinax was given a ticket for illegally changing lanes by the Metropolitan Police Department. The $2 million suit says she should have been charged with a more serious crime, like striking a pedestrian.

Meanwhile, the owner of Morgan's Seafood Romeo Morgan, caught the story on television last night. He says he couldn't believe it. "It's the exact same thing," he says.

As City Desk earlier reported, Morgan says he was standing in the street trying to direct a truck into a parking spot outside his restaurant on the afternoon of March 18, in order to assist traffic flow, when Detective Leon Epps rolled up. Morgan says  the detective hit him several times with his car. Morgan wasn't hurt (he didn't even fall over), but told cops who arrived at the scene he wanted to press charges. Despite the request, he wasn't given a police report number, and Epps was allowed to drive off. (Epps didn't respond to a request for comment.)

A witness snapped a picture of the altercation with a cellphone, and it appears above. In it, a Mercedes Benz (Morgan mistakenly thought the car was a BMW) is dangerously close. The photographer didn't respond when asked to describe when during the altercation the shot was taken.

MPD says that though Morgan's allegations are under investigation, Epps is still on active duty status, meaning he hasn't been put on leave pending the inquiry. MPD also says it's looking into the situation with the VOA reporters. The FBI declined comment.

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  • Kevin Sharpe

    You people have nothing better to do than to post BS. I mean really how is this news worthy? First of all District of Columbia law states that only Officers can direct traffic. So the owner of the seafood establishment is lucky he was not arrested. Second of all directing someone into as parking space is a form of panhandling. I agree that the detective may have not used his best judgement. If you all are seeking stories about MPD I am sure there are more newsworthy stories out there than some idiot trying to direct traffic and getting tapped with a car. If this were a regular citizen would this story have made this paper? I think not.

  • Drez

    For right or wrong, Morgan has way too much baggage w/MPD priors forme to give him the benefit of the doubt.
    Sorry, but he needs to prove his story because of his history with this sort of thing.

  • Common Sense

    If the two VOA guys were struck by a car, by general order there should be a report for an accident involving a pedestrian. Why don't you see if one was done?

  • creativemeat

    @Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin, I think you missed the point of this article entirely.

  • seDCdude

    Ayy Sharpe, whatever!

    Right is right and wrong is RIGHT as far as COPPAS' go huh? Your tone has law enforcement entitlement all over it and that is a problem, especially IF YOU ARE IN FACT A COP!

    All the innocents who have been abused, MURDERED, illegally and wrongfully locked up all because of this 1 statement right here.. "I agree that the detective may have not used his best judgement. If you all are seeking stories about MPD I am sure there are more newsworthy stories out there than some idiot trying to direct traffic and getting tapped with a car"

    EXCUSES, EXCUSES AND MORE EXCUSES, YOU need to be investigated if in fact you are a cop for your flawed logic and view point!

    Nothing either of these law enforcement members did was within reason or proper judgement as acting law enforcement goes...period!

  • Typical DC BS

    Nice that the detective is driving an S-class Mercedes. Would love to see what his salary is to be able to afford to drive / repair and insure that vehicle. In the old days, that would be something that would tip off a police department's internal affairs division that the cop was living a little too large.

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