Sports network says it taped abuse by officer at Preakness

May 21, 2002|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore police officer faces a suspension hearing today after he was allegedly caught on videotape hitting a spectator on the Pimlico Race Course infield at the Preakness on Saturday, police officials said.

Officer Troy Chesley, an eight-year veteran, works for specialized tactical units that patrol some of Baltimore's roughest neighborhoods. He has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of his hearing.

Police learned about the alleged incident when employees of cable television sports network ESPN approached police officials late Saturday night, said Col. John McEntee, commander of the department's patrol divisions.

ESPN employees said the videotape - which was not aired by the network - showed an officer striking a spectator on the infield, McEntee said.

McEntee said he had not seen the tape.

Internal affairs detectives identified the officer as Chesley on Sunday morning, police officials said. It was unclear last night whether detectives had located the man who appeared to have been struck.

Police officials, who boosted security at the event in light of the terrorist attacks Sept. 11, said that the crowd of 101,138 was relatively well-behaved. Police reported the removal of 192 people from the track and six arrests.

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