Man gets probation in beating he says was provoked CENTRAL COUNTY -- Arnold * Broadneck * Severna Park * Crownsville * Millersville

April 16, 1993|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

A 29-year-old Severna Park man was placed on six months probation yesterday in a November beating the man said was sparked by a racial slur.

Carter Rigsbee, a carpenter of the first block of Lockleven Drive, Severna Park, pleaded not guilty to battery in the beating of Gary Hart, 42, a real estate broker of the 3700 block of Thomas Point Road, Annapolis.

PD He admitted that he fought with Mr. Hart, but argued that he had

been provoked.

Judge Bruce C. Williams withheld a verdict on the charges, giving Mr. Rigsbee probation before judgment. The ruling means Mr. Rigsbee will have no criminal record unless he violates probation.

According to a not guilty statement of facts read in court, the incident occurred about 2 a.m. Nov. 21, 1992, as Mr. Rigsbee entered the 7-Eleven store at Ritchie Highway and McKinsey Road.

Mr. Hart and Mr. Rigsbee got into a shouting match, said Fred Paone, assistant state's attorney, and Mr. Rigsbee challenged Mr. Hart to get out of his car.

When Mr. Hart got out, Mr. Rigsbee beat him in the face and head until Mr. Hart asked him to stop, Mr. Paone read.

Mr. Hart was treated at North Arundel Hospital for a broken ankle and numerous cuts on his face.

Mr. Rigsbee fled when two women passing by yelled, "the cops are coming."

T. Joseph Touhey, Mr. Rigsbee's lawyer, said his client was angered when Mr. Hart referred to the white girlfriend of a black man with a racial slur.

Mr. Hart, who was not in court, later denied uttering the slur.

Mr. Touhey complained that police filed charges "without hearing my client's side of the story."

Officer Bryan Smith, who responded to the 911 call, said that the beating was so severe that several witnesses stayed at the scene to provide a description of the suspect.

Mr. Hart was acquitted in November 1991 of raping an Annapolis waitress at his home the previous October after he had taken her out to dinner.

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