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Harry Dunn domestic incident accusations

Harry Dunn suspended from USCP in 2012 after gun incident

Harry Dunn, the former U.S. Capitol Police officer running for Congress in Maryland, received a suspension without pay from the force in 2012 because he improperly handled his department-issued gun.

The suspension took place after Montgomery County Police investigated an alleged incident of domestic violence at Dunn’s Maryland home the previous year. While no charges were filed against either Dunn or his then-wife, a U.S. Capitol Police investigation resulted in Dunn’s suspension for mishandling his service weapon.

A top Capitol Police official wrote in 2012 that Dunn stored his service weapon in a home lockbox with a broken lock for more than a month, according to a letter obtained by Punchbowl News. Here is the three-page letter in three PDFs.

In denying Dunn’s appeal to reduce the suspension, then-acting U.S. Capitol Police Assistant Chief Matthew Verderosa concluded that Dunn “handled his weapon in a careless or imprudent manner” during the incident.

In a comment for this story, Dunn and his ex-wife insisted there was never any violence between them.

Here’s Dunn and his ex-wife, Danyel on the 2011 incident:

Dunn also expressed regret for how he stored his weapon.

“Thirteen years ago, the lock on my home lockbox broke, and I didn’t get it fixed right away,” Dunn said in a statement. “That was wrong, I got a four-day suspension because of it, and I learned the lesson.”

The three-page letter from the U.S. Capitol Police assistant chief — which served as justification for denying Dunn’s appeal to shorten his suspension — quotes from a Montgomery County Police report.

Responding officers concluded both Dunn and his then-wife were victims of “mutual battery,” but again, no charges were ever brought.

Citing from the Montgomery County police report, Verderosa said after Dunn’s then-wife “wiggled a paring knife” in his direction, Dunn went to a spare bedroom to retrieve his service weapon and rifle. Dunn carried his weapons past his then-wife in the kitchen and secured them in the basement. Dunn reportedly told police at the scene he did this to “remove weapons from the equation.”

In the letter, Verderosa wrote that Dunn’s then-wife was on the phone with her sister when Dunn passed her in the kitchen with his guns.

“Oh, so now he is getting his guns,” Dunn’s then-wife reportedly said to her sister, according to the letter.

“His and my sister’s marriage had ups and downs, but Harry was never threatening toward anyone, and he’s one of the most responsible people I know,” Danyel’s sister, Nneka Williamson, said in a statement.

Dunn’s ex-wife didn’t speak with Capitol Police about Dunn’s suspension, we’re told.

The Montgomery County attorney’s office declined to prosecute Dunn. Verderosa wrote that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to suggest that Dunn threatened his then-wife.

But Verderosa also concluded that Dunn’s service weapon “was unsecure and accessible to anyone” and found Dunn violated a number of USCP statutes.

Dunn is a leading contender in the Democratic primary in Maryland’s 3rd District and has massively outraised every other candidate in the race to succeed retiring Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.). The Democrat that wins the May 14 primary will almost certainly succeed in the general in the deep-blue seat.

A Capitol Police officer for 15 years, Dunn’s harrowing testimony of how Jan. 6 rioters abused him with racist and physical attacks captivated the public during the first Jan. 6 committee hearing.

The 40-year-old Dunn unsuccessfully ran for president of the Capitol Police union in November 2021.

He also published a best-selling memoir titled “Standing My Ground” in 2023.

— Max Cohen, John Bresnahan and Heather Caygle

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