Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Police Department Officer Kevin Battipaglia was arrested on Friday, suspended without pay, and criminally charged after allegedly hitting an armed suspect in the line of duty.
The initial incident occurred on Dec. 24, 2017 when officers arrested 21-year-old Darrian Carr on gun charges.
The details about the arrest have still not been made publicly available, but Carr’s attorney offered the suspected gun offender’s version of events, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Carr claims that he was just walking down the street when Officer Battipaglia suddenly hit him over the head with his department-issued baton (espantoon), knocking him to the ground. Other officers rushed in and helped arrest Carr for possessing a firearm.
This account of events is only the suspected gun offender’s account of events and is not the result of any investigation or police reports, which have not been released.
Now, the State’s Attorney’s Office is charging Officer Battipaglia with first-degree assault and misconduct in office.
Despite charging Officer Battipaglia, the prosecutors are continuing to charge Carr with the gun offense.
This indicates that prosecutors acknowledge that Officer Battipaglia had a lawful reason to detain and arrest Carr, but that they believe his use of force against the armed suspect was unnecessary.
The reason for the detention has not been released.
Carr is being held without bail on the gun offense, and his trial is set for April, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Baltimore PD spokesperson T.J. Smith released a statement which said, “We take these matters very seriously. Our Office of Professional Responsibility is working with the State’s Attorney’s Office with regard to this matter. The officer is a five-year veteran who was assigned to Northeast District patrol. At this stage, the evidence in this case will be scrutinized in the judicial system.”
The State’s Attorney’s Office is headed by Marilyn Mosby.
Mosby is known for being the prosecutor who charged six Baltimore officers for the death of Freddie Gray. Without waiting for an investigation to be completed, or reviewing all of the details of the case, she quickly brought charges on all officers involved in the arrest, and had them arrested when there was no apparent probable cause for their arrest.
All officers were later acquitted or had charges dropped when it was clear that Mosby lacked evidence that the officers had committed any crimes. Five of those officers are currently suing her.