POSTED: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 - 8:53am
UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 10:59pm
A Baltimore city police officer was charged with assault after he pulled a gun on a haunted house character over the weekend. Baltimore County police said Sgt. Eric Janik, 36, pulled his gun on a haunted house employee dressed up as the killer from "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" at the House of Screams show in Essex on Sunday.
Police said the employee approached Janik after the haunted house tour was over in a bid to get "one last scream." Instead, Janik, who was off-duty, pulled his service weapon and pointed it at Michael Morrison's chest, authorities said.
"I was doing my normal scene at the haunted house, and as I was going out the backdoor with the chainsaw, the officer pulled his gun on me. Basically, he put his gun to my chest and as I was going back in, he said he was a cop," Morrison, the man in the costume said.
He said he dropped the chain saw, which had no chain and was not dangerous. Janik was with four other people, including his 9-year-old daughter and a female officer. Charging documents show he denied pointing his loaded service weapon at Morrison.
He said he pointed it at the ground. Police said Janik also appeared to be drinking. "Callers said he seem to be very intoxicated. In fact, the people inside the House Of Screams noted that. When he was being process, two of the officers noticed his speech was slurred and there was a moderate odor of alcohol coming from his breath. He didn't seem to be taking this quite as seriously as he should have been," said Baltimore County police spokesman Bill Toohey.
Janik has been suspended without pay pending a formal suspension hearing.
He works patrol in the southeast district and has been on the force since 1995.