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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.

If you witnessed the events at the McDonald's and would like to share what you saw please contact us: bobbi.bowman@patch.com

Unreal February 17, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Dear Ms. McColgan: Since you are apparently monitoring these updates and posting on this site, show and ID your son and what he was wearing for the benefit of the entire McLean community-WHERE on this video your son was struck in the back and throat with a baton by a police officer. You are making these allegations (without actually being present at the event as far as I can tell) against McLean police officers, back them up with fact please. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOLTeBoEOd4
imthatguy February 17, 2012 at 07:10 PM
and who r u? why dont you say ur name?
Denise Shreeve February 17, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Does anyone know if the Manager at McDonalds called the Police because things were out of control? That video makes it pretty obvious that they were.
Unreal February 17, 2012 at 11:06 PM
My name isn't important-I'm not the one accusing the police of doing anything wrong. Simply an interested citizen. Who can spell.
Roya C February 18, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Unfortunately, we often see police brutality simply because the police officers are not educated or trained and act due to sheer ignorance and pandemonium without truly understanding or rather attempting to understand the situation. I saw a crowd of youngsters outside the McDonalds from far and it looked like they were having a good time. It seems to be quite normal for police to always want to break up crowds even by force and brutality and it seems that this is accepted as the way it should be unfortunately. Extreme behavior is what our culture has become and it is not acceptable. Beating, hitting or even showing a baton to a group of teenagers having a good time, whether sober or not, is a sign of irrational behavior and not consistent with sensible and correct conduct. This is the difference between our society and autocratic societies like many places in the world. The police officers have a responsibility to set an example for youngsters and not to make everyone hate them. This should be taught to these officers while in training. Often times, when I have spoken to an officer, they have been so rude and aggressive. No one ever teaches these people manners and etiquette and this is the most important thing - it brings them closer to other people and makes them look human instead of animals. This is truly a shame and should be addressed with the utmost urgency.
Dahpne Nelson February 19, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Let me get this straight -- you have watched the video and it's the police officers who are acting like animals? Get real. Police officers routinely put their lives on the line, even for condescending people like you. What is a police officer supposed to do when their orders are ignored? Mclean is full of irresponsible parents like you, who refuse to correct their children, only to raise cane when others do. The officers have an absolute right to ask that the rowdy crowd leave, if for no other reason that the video showed a clear fire hazard. Of course, if the police did not step in and someone got hurt or heaven forbid, seriously hurt or killed from the fire code violation, then of course you would sue. Typical irresponsible Mclean parent and I say that you need to get real.
Andrew Johnson February 20, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Often when our children were younger, we asked them to behave in public as if we were watching, even when we weren't around. We did that in an attempt to teach them good citizenship and responsibility. I watched the video (that interestingly has now been removed), and saw NO evidence of "police brutality." I did see an unruly crowd of young people at McDonalds. How about this for an idea? - After future McLean/Langley games, a caring group of parents volunteer to chaperone the after-game gatherings in order to ensure that our teens behave the way responsible young adults should. I guarantee McDonalds (or any other establishment) and the police won't have nearly the difficulties they encountered after the last McLean/Langley game.

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