An FBI agent has been found guilty of second-degree assault after jurors saw a cell phone video of him knocking a teenager to the ground and threatening him with his service weapon.
The video, made public by the court late Tuesday, shows Gerald Rogero appearing to forcefully shove the teenager in the chest, sending him flying backwards and then landing on his back. Moments later, the video shows Rogero pulling out his gun and shouting at the 15-year-old, "If I have to shoot you I will. Don't make me shoot you."
The incident began as an argument over a child custody hand-over in Chevy Chase, Maryland, last December, authorities said. Rogero, his fiancée, and a woman he said is the child's mother, had been waiting for the child. The video shows Rogero aggressively berating Edward Moawad, the father of the little girl, for being late. Rogero was off-duty, in plain clothes, and did not identify himself on the video as an FBI agent to Moawad or the people with him -- Moawad's fiancée and her 15-year-old son.
The argument escalated as Moawad's fiancée repeatedly asked Rogero who he was, according to the video, which also shows Rogero responding, "Who are you?" When told the custody exchange was not his business, he is seen on the video saying, "I'm making this my business." When the group moved outside, the bickering turned belligerent, and the teenager stepped up to Rogero, angrily confronting him.
"Don't act stupid or you are going to get yourself locked up," Rogero told him.
But the arguing continued, and apparently expletives were exchanged -- the exact words are bleeped out of the video released by the court. Following the harsh language, Rogero shoved the boy to the ground, then scuffled with him after the teen got back on his feet. Finally, the boy followed Rogero's order to "get on the ground" face down, and was handcuffed. The boy was not arrested.
The jury convicted Rogero of second-degree assault on Friday, but acquitted him of the more serious charges of first-degree assault and a gun charge. Rogero was back in court Tuesday to set a sentencing date, and for a ruling on whether he could continue to carry his weapon. The judge decided Rogero would get to keep his service weapon -- at least until he is sentenced on Jan. 20.
Rogero's attorney, Marlon Wheat, told ABC News in a statement today that "Agent Rogero exercised his right to defend himself, like any other person would have that right."
Rogero is a 20-year FBI veteran and a chief in the FBI counter-terrorism unit, according to the agency. In a statement today, the FBI said that Rogero is still on active duty while the agency conducts an internal review of the incident.