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Police: Gun fired in self-defense

Berryville officer's weapon discharged in late-night incident with town man

By J.R. Williams

A Berryville police officer fired his service weapon in self-defense when a town man attacked him with a metal pipe on April 20, state police said Friday.

Authorities released a sequence of events in the late-night incident, but said the matter is still under investigation.

Daniel Morozewicz, the officer who fired the shot, has been re-assigned to administrative duties per Police Department policy, according to a news release. The state police Bureau of Criminal Investigation was called to investigate the officer-involved shooting, also in accordance with department policy.

Authorities charged William Thomas Painter, 58, of 116 W. Main St., Berryville, with assault and battery of a law-enforcement officer after the incident. Painter was later released on a $5,000 secured bond and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 18.

On April 20, Morozewicz responded to the area of the Berryville Subway sandwich shop on Main Street, where two men were in the parking lot, according to police.

One man, Jason McCarty, 35, of Berryville, "had suffered an injury to his arm or hand and was bleeding," the release says. Morozewicz approached Painter, who "appeared to be enraged, with clenched fists," it says. Painter ran.

In a criminal complaint completed after the incident, Morozewicz said he retreated after he was attacked.

"A foot pursuit took place. Painter picked up a metal pipe and turned to face me," the complaint says. "Painter began to strike me in the head."

"I then retreated away from Painter. Painter pursued me and continued to strike me."

Morozewicz drew and fired his weapon, but the bullet did not hit Painter.

"Mr. Painter initially fell to the ground, but then regained his stance and struggled with several other officers that had arrived as backup," the release says. "Officers had to utilize chemical and impact weapons in order to take Mr. Painter into custody."

McCarty was treated for his injuries and released the night of the incident. Morozewicz "was treated on the scene for minor injuries not associated with the discharge of the service weapon," it says.

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