A Manassas City police detective, who was the lead investigator in a controversial teen “sexting” case last year, shot and killed himself outside his home Tuesday morning as police tried to arrest him for allegedly molesting two boys he met while coaching youth hockey in Prince William County.
David E. Abbott Jr., 39, was a member of the Northern Virginia-Washington D.C. Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and had been an officer on the Manassas City force for 14 years.
In his spare time he coached 13- and 14-year-old boys in travel hockey for the Potomac Patriots program at the Prince William Ice Center in Woodbridge, club officials said. When Prince William police learned Monday of the allegations of improper contact by Abbott over a period of years, they moved quickly.
Police said they learned that Abbott had sent inappropriate text messages and emails to a 13-year-old boy he met through the hockey program. By phone and social media, Abbott had been asking the boy for sex acts for more than two years, county police said.
Early Tuesday, Prince William police obtained a search warrant for Abbott’s townhouse on Senea Drive in Gainesville, where he lived with his mother. Police also obtained four felony arrest warrants — two counts of indecent liberties by a custodian and two counts of use of a communication device to solicit a sexual offense.
Police arrived at the townhouse about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, Prince William Sgt. Jonathan Perok said. Abbott refused to surrender. Aware that the detective probably had weapons, the police then evacuated some nearby townhouses as a precaution, Perok said.
The standoff lasted for more than four hours. Abbott came outside of the townhouse and was speaking with officers, Perok said. Then, around 7 a.m., Abbott shot himself, Perok said.
Abbott was the lead detective in a child pornography investigation last year in which a Manassas City teen was charged with sending explicit video of himself to his girlfriend. In order to establish that the teen was the person in the video, Abbott and Prince William prosecutors obtained a search warrant to take a photo of the teen’s erect penis, for comparison with the explicit video.
“This is a tragic and sad day for the Abbott family, the juvenile victims and their families, the Manassas City Police Department, and our community,” Manassas City police said in a statement. “In spite of these recent developments regarding the serious allegations against him, we are grateful for the contributions Det. Abbott made during his time with Manassas City Police, to include the prosecution and conviction of hundreds of criminals.”
Abbott was the lead detective in the investigation of serial child predator Kevin Ricks, sentenced to 45 years in prison for molestation in Virginia and Maryland.
Source: Washington Post