Officer charged in beating surrenders Prisoner allegedly assaulted in cell block

June 01, 1996|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A 31-year-old Baltimore police officer indicted Thursday on charges that he beat a prisoner in the Western District cell block surrendered yesterday and proclaimed his innocence through his lawyer.

Officer Timothy F. Wade, who surrendered at police headquarters, was charged with a misdemeanor count of assault in an April 15 incident. Police said the 10-year-veteran officer hit Bernard Cutchember, 35, who had been arrested on a drug charge.

Agent Ragina L. Cooper, a city police spokeswoman, said Cutchember suffered a cut above his right eye that required six stitches. "Apparently, the two were involved in some sort of dispute," Cooper said. "We are unsure what the dispute was about."

Henry L. Belsky, a lawyer for the city police union, would not comment on the specifics of the case but said Wade's "position on the case is that he committed no crime, and he looks forward to trying the case."

Cutchember, who lives in the 4700 block of Vancouver Road in Southwest Baltimore, was arrested April 13 on a drug possession charge. The case was put on the inactive docket Wednesday.

Maj. Robert F. Smith, the Western District commander, said Wade had escorted Cutchember to see a District Court commissioner and was returning the prisoner to the cell when the alleged assault occurred. The major said Cutchember did not report being hit. An officer on the next shift "noticed dry blood on the individual's face and asked what happened," Smith said.

Wade faces a suspension hearing before a police commander Monday. His police powers, gun and badge have been revoked.

Pub Date: 6/01/96

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