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State trooper charged with assaulting arrestee

Posted at 3:33 PM, Apr 27, 2016

A state trooper was charged with assaulting a man he arrested last fall, and has been suspended without pay from the department.

Matin M. Dunlap, 25, is charged with one count of first-degree assault, three counts of second-degree assault and two counts of misconduct in office following the incident that occurred on I-95 in Harford County on Oct. 22.

Dunlap was indicted Tuesday by a Harford County grand jury. He has been released on $1,000 bond. 

The arrestee, Dennis M. D. Donoghue, 55, of Riverdale, was fleeing from Dunlap and other troopers after they attempted to stop his Chevrolet Captiva, state police said.

Donoghue was stopped on the right shoulder of northbound I-95 near White Marsh when Dunlap was working patrol in a marked car.

He spotted the stopped vehicle and pulled up behind it, but Donoghue drove away. 

Dunlap called for backup and began to follow the vehicle with his emergency equipment activated, state police said. 

According to state police, Donoghue turned off his car lights and continued north on I-95, refusing to pull over and stop.  Additional troopers joined the pursuit.  Donoghue was not driving at excessive speed, but was driving with his lights out and ignoring the emergency lights and sirens of the patrol cars.  During the pursuit, Donoghue's car collided with a marked patrol car driven by a supervisor from the JFK Barrack. 

Once troopers used stop sticks to deflate the tires on Donoghue’s car, he stopped and troopers got him out of the car.

State police said Donoghue was “passively resisting” and they weren’t able to handcuff him.

At that point, state police said, Dunlap intervened and began jabbing Donoghue, who was lying on the ground, repeatedly in the abdomen and side with a metal expandable baton. Dunlap also hit and injured the hand of one of the troopers trying to handcuff the driver. 

Other officers intervened to try to get Dunlap to stop, police said. Finally, a state police sergeant forcibly pushed Dunlap away from Donoghue.

Dunlap was suspended with pay and placed on administrative duties once the criminal investigation began, the day after the incident. He had been with the state police since 2013. 

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