An Aberdeen Police Department officer fell to his death from an elevated portion of Interstate 95 in Baltimore early Saturday morning, police said, marking the second death of a Harford County police officer this week.
Maryland Transportation Authority Police said the body of Officer First Class Charles N. Armetta, 29, of Joppa, was found shortly after 3:15 a.m. Saturday when 911 callers reported a man falling from an elevated section of northbound I-95.
In a brief release Saturday afternoon, Aberdeen police confirmed the death of Armetta, calling him “a highly decorated member” of the force.
Maryland Transportation Authority Police spokesman Sgt. Kirk Perez said Armetta was traveling northbound on I-95 in a limousine with other individuals when he exited the vehicle near Exit 52, for Russell Street. Armetta then fell off the roadway into the wooded area below the highway, a drop of approximately 47 feet, Perez said.
Armetta was pronounced dead at the scene. Perez said investigators are interviewing those who were present with Armetta at the time, but said the incident “appears to be a tragic accident.” He noted that, in the dark, it can be difficult to see the distance to the ground from that section of the roadway.
Reached late Saturday morning, Aberdeen Police Chief Henry Trabert said Armetta was the department’s K-9 officer, but declined further comment at the time.
In a July 2 release, the department said it had restarted its dormant K-9 program, partnering Armetta with Maverick, a 2-year-old German Shepherd. The two were expected to complete a 24-week training program with the New Castle County (Del.) Police Department on July 12, after which they would assist the department in contraband detection and suspect apprehension, as well as appear at community events.
“I am saddened and at a loss for words in the untimely death of Brother (Officer) Charles Armetta,” said Jason Neidig, president of F.O.P. Lodge 128 and an officer with the Aberdeen Police Department. “Brother Armetta was a dedicated officer and very involved with the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #128. Not only do I grieve for his family but for his wife and their daughter who turns 1 on Monday. The F.O.P. will offer any and all support to the family and the officers.”
Armetta’s death came two days after Harford County Sheriff’s Office Cpl. Charles B. Licato, 34, of Cecil County was killed in an early-morning crash in Darlington. Licato’s father, Donald, recently retired as a detective with the Aberdeen Police Department.
Officer First Class Charles N. Armetta. (Photos courtesy Dean Nicewander/Nicewander Photo)