City officer loses police powers after hearing on alleged abuse

Tape shows him swinging at spectator, officials say

May 22, 2002|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

A city police officer allegedly caught on videotape swinging at or hitting a spectator during the Preakness on Saturday lost his police powers after an internal hearing yesterday and was assigned to administrative duties.

Police officials said Officer Troy Chesley, 29, an eight-year veteran, will remain on administrative duty pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

The videotape shows Chesley and other officers trying to control a melee involving between 10 and 15 people in the infield of Pimlico Race Course, and the fight appears to be getting out of hand when Chesley is seen swinging at a spectator with something in his hand or with both hands, police officials said.

The tape does not show contact between Chesley and the spectator, they said, but Chesley's hand, or hands, can be seen making a motion at the spectator. Seconds later, the video shows the spectator jerking around to face the officer, they said.

Col. John McEntee, commander of the department's patrol division, said police obtained the videotape after the Preakness. It was made by a video production company working for the ESPN cable television network.

The spectator, who apparently did not report the incident that day, came forward yesterday and spoke to police, McEntee said.

In 1999, while working off duty as a security guard at a shoe store, Chesley shot and wounded a man who was trying to rob the store. The robber pulled a gun on a clerk, police said at the time, and Chesley then shot the robber.

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