Former Woodson Terrace police officer pleads guilty to civil rights violation

Civil Righs VIolation News Graphic

A former police officer in Woodson Terrace, Missouri on Thursday admitted kicking a man who was on the ground and being held at gunpoint by another officer.

David W. Maas, 57, pleaded guilty in front of U.S. District Judge Henry E. Autrey to a charge of deprivation of rights under color of law, namely the victim’s right to be free from the use of unreasonable force. 

Maas admitted that on April 14, 2019, he and officers from other agencies were pursuing a car stolen in an armed robbery in Bridgeton. The officers were told that a weapon had been implied but not displayed by the robber. Maas was on duty in full police uniform and a marked police vehicle.

That pursuit traveled through St. Ann, Breckenridge Hills, St. John, unincorporated north St. Louis County, Bel-Nor, Greendale, and Pagedale before terminating on Oak Grove Avenue in Wellston. The robber got out of the passenger side of the stolen car on Oak Grove Avenue and ran away. He was later caught.

The driver, referred to in court only by his initials, “I.F.,” turned back onto Dr. Martin Luther King Drive and struck a St. Ann police vehicle. A Pagedale officer immediately ran up to the passenger side of the car and ordered I.F. at gunpoint to get out of the car with his hands in the air and to get on the ground. 

While I.F. was on the ground, Maas ran up to him, stepped over him, and then kicked him in the forehead, causing swelling and pain.

The charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. Maas is scheduled to be sentenced on January 23, 2024.

The FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Krug is prosecuting the case.