Nearly $50,000 police settlement approved

Board of Estimates also agrees to back pay for suspended officers

September 24, 2014|By Yvonne Wenger and Mark Puente | The Baltimore Sun

A Middle River man who accused a Baltimore police officer of assault and battery will receive nearly $50,000 in a settlement approved Wednesday by the city's spending panel.

Charles Faulkner accused Officer Daniel Hersl of battering his face with a police radio and his fists during an arrest Sept. 1, 2010, in the 1900 block of Wolfe St., according to court records and a settlement memo. The Board of Estimates approved the settlement without discussion, although City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young voted to reject the agreement.

Young said Faulkner injured himself while fleeing police after engaging in illegal activities. Faulkner was later convicted of drug possession.

According to the memo presented to the board, Hersl was on patrol when he saw Faulkner allegedly make an illegal narcotics transaction. When a detective attempted to approach Faulkner, he fled and threw five bags of cocaine to the ground.

Hersl followed Faulkner by car and saw him lying on a concrete front porch, according to the settlement. When Faulkner attempted to flee again, Hersl tackled him to the ground. Faulkner claims he was assaulted by Hersl after he was handcuffed, court records show.

Faulkner was treated for his injuries, including a cut lip and a jaw that was broken in three places, according to his lawsuit. He had sought $1 million in damages.

A city police spokeswoman said Hersl remains an active member of the department.

In another action, Young, who chairs the Board of Estimates, also was the sole "no" vote against approving back pay for two suspended police officers.

The board approved about $4,700 in back salary for Robin Blackmon, a police sergeant who was suspended in 2013 for an alleged altercation with her son, and about $105,000 in back pay for Carlos M. Vila. Vila, who has since retired from the force, was suspended after he was accused of secretly recording a conversation with a judge in 2012.

Young said making those payments was "unwarranted."

"I couldn't vote for it," he said.

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