Morgan State officer charged in assault on student

October 10, 2003|By Allison Klein | Allison Klein,SUN STAFF

A Morgan State University police officer was charged yesterday with assaulting a student with pepper spray while on duty. The student told Baltimore police that while his eyes burned, the officer laughed.

The officer, Michael A. Jones, has been suspended with pay since the incident Aug. 7, according to college spokesman Clinton R. Coleman.

Andrew L. Chavers Jr., a student who lives in Stamford, Conn., told city police that he was walking to a campus breakfast hall about 7 a.m. with two friends when they were stopped by two officers on the university's police force. The officers asked the students what they had in their hair, according to court documents.

Chavers told the officers that a dorm resident assistant had sprayed something in their hair "as a prank," according to the documents. He asked the officers for a ride to the breakfast hall and they agreed.

Once inside the car, Chavers was sprayed with pepper spray, according to documents.

"My eyes were burning very badly and my skin was burning," Chavers told police. "I can hear the officer saying, `C'mon, big boy, run.' They were laughing while I was running for my life."

Friends rushed him to a dorm and called a doctor, who confirmed he had been sprayed with pepper spray, authorities said.

A criminal summons for Jones was issued yesterday. He was charged in Baltimore District Court with second-degree assault and carrying a dangerous weapon with intent to injure.

Charges were not brought until yesterday because the state's attorney's office needed time to investigate the claim. Jones' trial is scheduled for Nov. 21.

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