Deputy Charged in Domestic Assault
(March 22, 2017 - Bel Air, MD) — A Harford County Sheriff’s Office Correctional Deputy hasbeen arrested and charged with first and second degree assault following a domestic incident.Senior Deputy Michael Vasiliou, a forty year-old male Correctional Deputy assigned to the Harford County Detention Center Interagency Processing Center, was arrested on March 14, 2017, at approximately 1:30 a.m.
Deputies from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office’s Domestic Violence Unit and Office of Professional Standards have initiated parallel investigations into the incident. Vasiliou, who was hired in 2005, was suspended from duty without pay following a suspension hearing. Additionally, Vasiliou's correctional powers will remain suspended while the internal and criminal investigations remain active. The outcome of the criminal prosecution and/or the internal investigation could result in Vasiliou’s termination from employment with the agency.
Deputies assigned to the Southern Precinct were dispatched to the residence of Vasiliou's wife on March 13, at approximately 10:44 p.m. Upon arrival, deputies were advised of an altercation between Vasiliou and his estranged wife that began in a vehicle earlier that evening. While the argument began as verbal only, it quickly escalated and resulted in the suspect displaying a personally owned handgun and striking the victim in the head, causing injury. Three children were present in the vehicle at the time of the incident, but were not physically harmed nor threatened.
Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler will not discuss the incident further as he does not want to jeopardize the integrity of the administrative or criminal investigations. He did offer the following, "At this time, our focus is on the victim and children, their safety and well-being is of great importance to me. I was deeply disappointed to hear of the alleged actions of our Correctional Deputy.” Sheriff Gahler continued, “As Sheriff, I firmly believe the community we serve deserves transparency and accountability and the actions taken in this case demonstrate our deep commitment to earn and maintain our community’s trust."
Vasiliou was arrested at a residence in Bel Air without incident and taken to the Harford County Detention Center for processing. After meeting with a District Court Commissioner for his initial appearance, he was released on his own recognizance.
The Harford County Sheriff’s Office holds its employees to the highest standards and will thoroughly investigate all allegations of misconduct, remaining vigilant to insure our efforts are professional and meet the high standards the public has come to expect from our deputies. The acts alleged are not reflective of the hard work and dedication of the men & women of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office.
Members of the public are reminded the defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
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