In reversal, charges dropped against police sergeant in scuffle outside Baltimore strip club — but b
Prosecutors have dropped the assault case against a Baltimore police sergeant arrested last summer outside a strip club downtown, choosing instead to charge the officer who arrested her.
The reversal clears the name of Sgt. Henrietta Middleton, her attorney said. Officer Marlon Koushall heads to trial in June on charges of second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
“It was obvious that Sgt. Middleton was attacked and therefore the charges were dismissed,” said Latoya Francis-Williams, her attorney. “We are certainly grateful.”
Koushall’s defense attorney, Catherine Flynn, said she expects his “complete exoneration.”
“We’re looking forward to going to trial,” Flynn said.
Eight months later, it remains unclear what happened to cause the early-morning scuffle outside Norma Jean’s club on The Block. Cellphone video shows one officer pulling Middleton to the ground by her shirt collar. Then a third officer intervenes and separates the two while a crowd looks on.
Police had been called to Custom House Avenue outside the club around 1:20 a.m. for reports of a disorderly patron. A police spokesman said officers observed Middleton acting in a disorderly manner, approaching an officer and refusing to comply. Middleton was off-duty and not in uniform.
A witness, Gary Massey, said one of the responding officers went too far.
“What I saw was a man punching a woman full force in the face, like he was brawling with another man,” Massey said at the time. “I’m not saying she wasn’t out of order or being disruptive, but he’s clearly stronger than this lady.”
Prosecutors dropped charges against Middleton in December; the sergeant remains on the force. Her attorney said Middleton continues to face potential administrative discipline.
Two months ago, prosecutors charged Koushall.
A spokeswoman for the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office declined to discuss the case.