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BPD officer charged with excessive force against teenage auto theft suspect, supervisor accused of lying about it

Posted at 11:47 AM, Jul 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-16 23:08:25-04

BALTIMORE — A Baltimore Police officer has been indicted, accused of using excessive force while arresting a teenage auto theft suspect last year.

His sergeant also now faces charges for allegedly lying about it.

It all stems from an incident on April 27, 2020.

Officer Maxwell Dundore was called to the 2800 block of Mayfield Avenue, where 17-year-old Bobby Adams was seen getting out of the driver's side of a car that was reported stolen.

Prosecutors say Dundore grabbed Adams when he tried to flee, causing both to fall to the ground.

Adams got up prompting Dundore to allegedly slam him face-down to the ground.

To prevent him from trying to get away again, Dundore allegedly wrapped his left arm around the neck of Adams saying, “I swear to God, I’ll choke you out if you don’t stop."

Another officer on scene tried to help take Adams into custody, but the teen allegedly kicked at that officer while still trying to break free.

As the struggle went on, prosecutors say Dundore continued holding Adams underneath the chin near the throat saying, “I will choke you. I will kill you.”

Several other officers eventually arrived and got Adams into handcuffs.

Prosecutors accuse Dundore of then pushing and back-kicking Adams in the face while he was cuffed, although his sergeant saw things a little differently.

Afterwards, Dundore allegedly insulted Adams and told him to “shut up” when he complained about being kicked in the face.

Dundore could be heard saying “Yep. Yep. Bobby, you’re mine today," while telling another officer, “I did slam him.”

Following a routine use of force investigation, Dundore's supervisor Sergeant Brendan O’Leary, wrote a report saying that he reviewed all body-worn camera footage of the incident.

Prosecutors say O’Leary's account differed from what they saw in the same video.

Instead of documenting that Adams was slammed face first to the ground, O'Leary reportedly wrote “Officer Dundore wrapped his arms securely around Adams’ waist, lifted his feet off the ground to prevent any further attempts to flee and put him on the ground on his back."

O’Leary apparently mentioned nothing in the report about Dundore pushing Adams in the face while handcuffed.

Prosecutors also believe O'Leary twisted the truth about what led to Dundore kicking Adams in the face.

“While standing up, Adams grabbed Officer Dundore’s shoe laces causing him to trip," O'Leary allegedly wrote. "He was able to stand up but his foot inadvertently struck Adams in the left side of his face.”

For that, a Baltimore City Grand Jury indicted O'Leary on charges of making a false statement and misconduct in office. The false statement charge carries a maximum six-month prison sentence.

Dundore is charged with second degree assault which carries up to 10-years in jail and misconduct in office.

Baltimore Police said they opened an internal investigation into the incident the same month it happened, and referred it to the City State's Attorney's Office.

"Both members have been suspended and re-assigned to administrative functions pending the outcome of the investigation,” said a police spokeswoman.

The body worn camera footage has not been publicly released.

In a statement, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said he was disgusted by the allegations.

"Police can apprehend suspects without unduly harming or degrading them," said Scott. "Moreover, I will continue to advocate before the Maryland General Assembly for the necessary local authority to immediately terminate officers for clearly egregious conduct in the interest of public safety."