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Police sergeant caught swiping paralyzed woman’s painkillers while questioning her

By Alexis Bell 1:50 PM February 6, 2018
Christopher Barnett

A police sergeant betrayed the trust of his community he served for many years by stealing painkillers from a paralyzed woman, according to police in Maryland.

The Hagerstown Police Department has charged the 15-year veteran of the force with distribution and possession of prescription controlled dangerous substances.

Sgt. Christopher Michael Barnett, 45, was taken into custody by the Pennsylvania State Police at his home on Thursday evening and a Washington County District Court Commissioner issued felony criminal charges.

“I cannot and will not make any excuses for this betrayal of our agency, badge, and community,” says Chief Victor Brito.

“I’m personally deeply disappointed and quite frankly sickened by this criminal act. That said, I know in my heart that the men and women I serve with at the Hagerstown Police Department perform their duties with integrity and selfless dedication every day,” Brito added.

Police said that they received credible information and evidence on Thursday afternoon that Barnett had engaged in illegal activity while on duty.

Investigators were presented with video footage of Sgt. Barnett providing a prescription narcotic to a paralyzed woman at a home in the city of Hagerstown.

The paralyzed woman told police that while Barnett was questioning her about a matter, he stole several painkillers from her prescription bottle.

When he left, she called the police to report the theft.

Several minutes later, Barnett came back to her home and offered her painkillers and $35 in cash to keep quiet about the matter.

The woman and her partner recorded the encounter and handed over the footage to the police.

Barnett has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

He was hired by the department in July of 2002 and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2012.