Parsons' bail reduced in Baltimore videotaped robbery case

Related: California blogger who helped spread Parsons' information says he feels bad for him and he shouldn't do prison time.

Bail for Aaron Parsons, the 20-year-old Rosedale man charged with punching and robbing a downtown visitor in a recorded attack that gained wide attention online, was reduced Monday morning to $500,000. 

A District Court Commissioner initially set his bail at $1 million on Saturday morning after Parsons turned himself in Friday night to face charges in the attack, thanks in large part to viewers of the video who tracked Parsons' online activity to link him as the suspect. The video made the rounds on the internet, making appearances on sites such as the Drudge Report and the Huffington Post, and airing on CNN

At his bail review at Central Booking, both the Division of Pretrial Services and the State's Attorney's Office recommended no bail. 

Parsons' attorney, Warren Brown, argued for a $25,000 bond, saying that the private school graduate had no prior criminal record as an adult or juvenile and that a no-bail status was typically reserved for murderers. All Parsons did was throw a punch, he said.

"We need to set aside the hysteria that this was caught on tape and look at it rationally and reasonably within the law," Brown said. 

Assistant State's Attorney David Chiu said Brown was downplaying the attack. "This isn't a punch - it's a beating and robbery of an unconcious visitor to the city," Chiu said.

Police had been upset that Parsons failed to turned himself in at an agreed upon time Friday morning - which Brown disputes - but Brown said Parsons was not a flight risk or risk to public safety. 

District Judge James Mann Jr. said his job was to "impose the least onerous bail to ensure the defendant will reasonably appear, while protecting the safety of the victim and the public." He said that while Parsons was likely to appear, he was concerned about the risk to public safety in deciding on $500,000 bond.

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