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Charges dropped against Glen Burnie driver accused of hitting school crossing guard and fleeing

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Posted at 10:45 AM, Sep 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 10:45:23-04

GLEN BURNIE, Md. — Anne Arundel County prosecutors are dropping charges against a driver previously accused of running into a school crossing guard and fleeing last Thursday.

The incident happened around 8:45am in Glen Burnie at the intersection of Shetlands Lane and Tam O Shanter Glen.

Police say the crossing guard stopped traffic to allow some elementary school students to cross the road.

That's when it was initially thought 32-year-old Joseph Hernazdez intentionally inched up to the intersection, bumping the guard's leg.

An officer nearby heard the guard arguing with Hernandez about the incident, before he allegedly left the scene.

This made the officer believe that a hit and run had occurred.

While there is evidence Hernandez may have made some contact with the guard, prosecutors say video footage shows he originally pulled into the crosswalk to move out of the way of a turning vehicle, and was straightening his wheel in order to move back out of the crosswalk.

Because of this, prosecutors say "the contact did not rise to the level of a criminal offense as an intentional or reckless act."

They also contended that Hernandez was never officially pulled over or told of any injuries suffered by the guard, which meant he was not obligated to stay on scene.

RELATED: Crossing guard suffers minor injuries after being struck by an impatient driver in Glen Burnie

"Because there is ultimately no evidence that the driver was told to pull over or that he was otherwise put on notice that the crossing guard had suffered any bodily injury, there is insufficient evidence to prosecute any hit and run charge," State's Attorney Anne Colt Leitess said in a statement. The officer presented the factual recitation that the vehicle struck the crossing guard to the district court commissioner who then determined what charges should be issued."