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News Maryland Baltimore City

Boy, 13, awarded $50,000 by Baltimore jury in wrongful-arrest case

A Baltimore jury on Tuesday awarded $50,000 to a West Baltimore boy who said he was wrongly arrested more than two years ago, according to court records.

The boy, who was 13 at the time, claimed he was assaulted by officers and arrested, then let go, then re-arrested when he sought medical treatment and was handcuffed to a hospital bed. No charges were ever filed against him, according to the complaint.

While the jury didn't find THAT officers had assaulted the boy, according to his attorney, C. Justin Brown, court records show THAT jurors did award damages in the case against Officer Dale Mattingly Jr.

The victim's mother, Nicole Young, said she was pleased with the verdict, though her son remains fearful of police. "I believe that next time, they will probably think twice before they do something like this," Young said.

Young filed the suit on behalf of her son and asked that he not be identified because he is a juvenile.

Attorneys for the officers could not be reached for comment.

In his complaint, the boy said he was walking to his grandmother's home on Hollins Street on the afternoon of July 15, 2011, when officers pulled up and ordered him over to their vehicle.

He claimed that he continued walking and that Mattingly chased him to a fence, grabbed him and threw him to the ground. The boy said he was punched five times in the face as another officer stood by, according to the complaint.

The boy said he was handcuffed and placed in the police car and taken to the Southwestern District station on Font Hill Avenue. He said the officers were then dispatched to a shooting, and dropped him off at his grandmother's house without filing charges.

When the boy's mother saw his injuries, she asked firefighters from a nearby firehouse to treat him. Mattingly and the other officer responded to the firehouse and placed the boy under arrest, according to court documents. They took him to University of Maryland Medical Center, where he was handcuffed to the hospital bed.

"In a case like this, it's nice to see that the system works," Brown said of the jury finding.

jfenton@baltsun.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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