HARFORD COUNTY, Md. - On a lone stretch of Conowingo Road in the wee hours of the morning Thursday, a deputy with the Harford County Sheriff’s Office lost control of his car and then lost his life as it slammed into a nearby tree.
"We're trying to recreate his movements from the time he came to work until this accident, and at this time, the evidence seems to indicate that he was on his way home," said Sheriff Jesse Bane.
Bane says a passerby spotted the wreckage just south of the Conowingo Bridge on Route 1 and called it in using the deputy’s radio.
The victim, Corporal Charles Licato, had spent much of his adult life with the agency, and he comes from a long line of law enforcers, including a father who was retired as a Baltimore City homicide detective and member of the Aberdeen Police Department, as well as a younger brother.
"Something that has me concerned is that his brother also works for us as a deputy sheriff,” said Bane, “So this is kind of a double whammy for the agency. Not only are we dealing with the death of one of our own, but having a family member that works for us that we have to look after too."
This is just the third line-of-duty death in the agency’s history, and the sheriff says many of the same men and women on the force who shared in Licato’s life also stuck by him in death.
"We have our accident investigation team there---some of them who knew Charlie very well," said Bane, "They're doing the accident reconstruction with him still in the vehicle. The deputy that arrived within a very short period of time after the call came in stayed with him the entire time. When we were finally able to extricate him from the vehicle, our deputies carried him to the van and from the van they accompanied him to the Medical Examiner's Office."
In tribute to Corporal Licato, bunting will adorn headquarters, marked cruisers at each precinct will be draped in a shroud and deputies’ badges already carry black bands signifying their loss.
The corporal’s family has requested he be buried with full honors.
Details are still forthcoming.
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