From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com.
Metropolitan Police Officer (MPD) Oscar A. Pedrozo, 37, died on August 25 in Maryland. Officer Pedrozo’s most recent assignment was patrolling on a Segway in Police Service Area (PSA) 301, which covers 14th Street NW to 18th Street NW between Q Street NW and Florida Avenue NW.
According to reports from the Washington Times and WTOP, officials remain unsure of whether Pedrozo’s death is related to injuries he suffered in an April 2007 stabbing. An autopsy was performed by the Maryland Office of Chief Medical Examiner. Fraternal Order of Police (the DC Police Union) Chairman Kristopher Baumann said that the cause of death is not yet available.
On April 20, 2007, Pedrozo was stabbed in the abdomen outside of Solo’s Restaurant and Carryout at 3566 14th Street NW. Pedrozo was off-duty at the time and was stabbed while trying to break up a fight between two patrons. Jose (Tito) Diaz was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon (knife) and Jose N. Villalta (nicknamed “Chito”) was charged with assault with intent to kill in the case.
According to DC Superior Court records, charges against Diaz were later dropped after the prosecutor failed to show up in court twice. Villalta was convicted of aggravated assault while armed and was sentenced in December 2007 to 96 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. According to Federal Bureau of Prison records, he is currently in prison in Petersburg, VA with a scheduled release date of June 19, 2014. If Pedrozo’s death is determined to be related to the stabbing, Villalta could face additional charges including homicide.
According to WTOP, if Pedrozo’s death is determined to be a death in the line of duty, his family would be eligible for significant financial assistance from both local and federal organizations. His name would also be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial near Judiciary Square. A determination on whether Pedrozo’s death was in the line of duty will be made after autopsy results are released.
Officer Pedrozo worked for the MPD for seven years after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. According to his obituary, he is survived by his wife and four children. He was buried August 31 in Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Silver Spring, MD.