McLean Student Says Police Officer Struck Him at McDonald's
Police commander said no one was struck by an officer.
A McLean High School senior and some friends arrived at the downtown McDonald's Friday evening to find it brimming with McLean and Langley students "smack talking" about the just-completed Langley-McLean basketball game and an upcoming beach weekend.
Then three policemen entered through the entrance facing Old Dominion Drive, said Ryan McColgan, 18.
"One had a baton," he said. "The guy with the baton shoved people with the baton." Ryan was standing beside a friend whom Ryan said the officer hit him in the back and he was struck in the throat.
"He told us to leave after we were struck," Ryan said recounting the incident as his mother listened.
"I walked out and talked to another officer because I was bleeding from the mouth,” he said. That officer gave him a towel, he said.
Diana McColgan was one of nearly 30 people who left comments on the McLean Patch front page after the website published a story about the incidents at McDonald's based on an interview with the McLean Police District Commander. She and many other commenters disagreed with the commander's report of the incidents.
In that interview Capt. Daniel Janickey said hundreds of students were at McDonald's on Old Dominion Drive.
"The officers were telling them to disperse and they were not listening. The officer did use his baton to hold one individual up against the wall. No one was ever struck with a baton,” Janickey said.
Both Janickey and Ryan said the officer held the baton across his chest. Both said he did not swing it.
The Fairfax County police department is conducting an administrative investigation, a standard policy when there are allegations of excessive force by officers.
Four students were arrested during the game at McLean High School. A fifth student was arrested outside the McDonald's. All were charged with public drunkenness, police said.
"There was nothing going on in the McDonald's," Ryan said. "... It was just a bunch of friends yelling about other friends. Talking about how we beat them. There was no fight going to happen. I don’t know why they (the officers) came in."
Ryan said the McDonald's manager never asked them to leave.
Janickey said, "We were outnumbered tremendously. We had three officers available and the crowd was being unruly. It was unsafe situation" for the community.
"You had over 100 kids in there (at the McDonald's). They just took the place over. Some were intoxicated. They didn't listen to management or police. The officers were trying to maintain order," he said. "This is a community and public safety issue."
About 10 p.m., Diana McColgan said she received a call from her son "telling me that he had been struck by a police officer twice and was bleeding."
"... He was fine when I last saw him (at the game which they both attended). And I have a hard time understanding if the police are saying no one was hit in the McDonald's how did my son get injured? Whether it was with the baton, the hand, on purpose or by accident it still happened," she said.
She and Ryan visited the McLean police station Saturday around noon looking for answers.
"My main concern was my son," she said. "I wanted to know what gave them the right to strike my son who was in the McDonald's not breaking any law. . . They handled the situation poorly," she said.
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