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Charging Docs: Suspect assaulted, spat on sergeant after accidentally being bumped into

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Posted at 2:54 PM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 15:07:31-05

BALTIMORE (WMAR) — Charging documents reveal a viral video of a Baltimore Police sergeant being assaulted started when he "inadvertently brushed the left shoulder" of a man standing outside a corner grocery store.

Sergeant Simpson Jr. was working uniformed patrol in the 1500 block of Pennsylvania Avenue the night of January 17, when he was called to check on the "A" Grocery store for a large group loitering out front, restricting access to the store.

As he asked the group to leave, Simpson reportedly made accidental contact with 23-year-old Zayne Abdullah, who said "the word is excuse me," before allegedly spitting in the face of Simpson.

Simpson then tried arresting Abdullah, at which point he quickly found himself outnumbered and being assaulted, according to documents.

One man allegedly tried to free Abdullah by striking Simpson's right arm with a fist.

The struggle continued on the ground, where Simpson told investigators he was punched, kicked, and dragged by several onlookers.

As backup officers arrived, and before Abdullah was finally taken into custody, the incident poured into the middle of the street.

In one video posted online, police say a female can be heard repeatedly screaming "kick him ... beat him, stomp him, stomp him."

Though Simpson didn't have his body worn camera activated, detectives were able to recover CCTV footage of the incident from the store.

The footage shows multiple suspects taking part in the assault including 20-year-old Donnell Burgess who officers recognized from the area.

Detectives also used social media posts to link him to the assault before arresting him.

RELATED: Three arrested in connection to assault on Baltimore Police Sergeant caught on video

Abdullah and Burgess were ordered to be held without bail.

A 17-year-old was also arrested and charged as a juvenile.

Simpson was not seriously hurt, but did suffer pain and bruising to the head, shoulder, and hand.