Arrested man files brutality complaint

July 24, 1992|By Staff report

An Edgewater man who fell into a shop window and cut his shoulder during a scuffle with Annapolis police last week has filed a brutality complaint.

Chauncey S. Smith, 31, of Mills Farm Road, has accused two city officers of using excessive force in arresting him, police officials said. Although Mr. Smith is black and the officers are white, his complaint does not accuse them of racial harassment, police said.

He could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Mr. Smith was arrested the night of July 16 after he and three friends began shouting profanities when they were refused entry to Armadillo's, a downtown pub and restaurant, witnesses and police said.

The men angrily accused the doorman of racial discrimination when they were asked to show identification after a group of white people, who had been in the bar earlier, walked inside ahead of them, witnesses said. The doorman told police they seemed intoxicated and were asked to leave.

Officer Brent Weaver, who was patrolling the area, told the group to quiet down, according to his report. The men left, but continued to yell obscenities while walking around City Dock toward Compromise Street.

When Officer Weaver again asked the group to calm down, Mr. Smith allegedly challenged him, yelling another obscenity at him, according to the police report. Officer Daniel Sereboff and two back-up officers went to help him in the parking lot of Fawcett Boat Supplies, while a crowd gathered, and the friends of Mr. Smith shouted at the officers, the report said.

In their struggle to handcuff him, Officers Weaver and Sereboff said, Mr. Smith pulled away from a pillar he was braced against and his left shoulder smashed through the store window.

He was treated for the wound at Anne Arundel Medical Center, then charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and destroying property.

Police said Mr. Smith had been drinking and appeared to be intoxicated at the time of his arrest, at about 11:30 p.m.

Gary Jackson, a waiter and bartender at Armadillo's who witnessed the scene, said the men became angry as soon as they were asked for identification. "It was an age issue, not a race issue," he said. "The problem was that they were carded at the door because they looked young enough."

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