Read today's eNewspaper

Lieutenant Brian Rice charged in Freddie Gray death had weapons seized in 2012

The Carroll County sheriff's office seized weapons of lieutenant charged in Freddie Gray death

The highest-ranking officer charged in Freddie Gray's death once had his weapons seized by Carroll County sheriff's deputies after an ex-girlfriend reported she was alarmed by some of his comments, according to police documents.

According to a report filed by the Carroll County sheriff's office, deputies took seven weapons from Lt. Brian Rice in April 2012, after his ex-girlfriend, Karen Crisafulli — also a Baltimore police officer — called local authorities to check on his well-being. The two had a son together, 6 months old at the time, and had made unofficial custody arrangements. When she didn't show up to bring the son to Rice, he told her "he could not continue to go on like this," the report stated.

When deputies responded to Rice's home in Westminster, he "appeared normal and soft-spoken," according to the report. They believed Rice's statement "was intended to invoke sympathy and attention." Still, they seized his service weapon and other guns.

A sheriff's deputy contacted Rice's command to report the incident, the report says. Rice was taken to Carroll Hospital Center.

Parts of the report, obtained through public information laws, are redacted. Sheriff Jim DeWees told The Baltimore Sun that his office redacted information because it contains medical information about Rice that is protected by federal privacy law.

Neither Rice, members of his family, nor his attorney could not be reached for comment.

News reports show that Rice helped to rescue a toddler from a burning house while looking for a suspected criminal in East Baltimore in 1998. While knocking on a door in the 2400 block of Ashland Ave., he and two other officers heard a child come to the door. Through a mail slot, they could see the child's legs.

After several minutes, police realized the child was alone and heard a smoke detector go off in the house. Officers kicked in the door, found 2-year-old Keontae Jackson in the living room and got her out of the home.

Rice, 41, faces six charges in Gray's death, including manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment. He was the first officer who made eye contact with Gray on April 12, the day he was arrested. Gray, 25, died a week later of injuries sustained while in police custody.

Rice was hired by the Baltimore Police Department in 1997 and promoted to lieutenant in 2011. His annual salary last year was about $88,000, according to a city employee database.

Rice also was ordered by a judge to stay away from his ex-girlfriend's husband in 2013, court records show.

In documents filed in Carroll County District Court, Andrew McAleer, who married Crisafulli, said Rice threatened his life. McAleer was seeking a peace order against Rice for himself and Rice's son. Although a judge initially granted the petition, the request for protection was denied the following week, court records show.

Andrew McAleer did not return calls seeking comment. Crisafulli declined to comment, saying that as a city police officer, she is not authorized to speak to the media about the matter. Crisafulli could not be reached for comment.

When asked about McAleer's allegations in the court documents last week, police union president Gene Ryan said he knew Rice professionally when Ryan was a sergeant.

"I would be very surprised if he did something like that," Ryan said.

A Baltimore police spokesman declined to comment on McAleer's allegations or to say whether Rice was ever internally investigated, saying such personnel matters are not public.

The Associated Press and Baltimore Sun Media Group reporters Jessica Anderson, Colin Campbell, Heather Cobun, Justin George and Wiley Hayes contributed to this article.

Charges

Involuntary manslaughter (up to 10 years)

Second-degree assault, two counts (up to 10 years)

Misconduct in office, two counts (no term listed)

False imprisonment (no term listed)

Copyright © 2016, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
61°