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Woman shot at by Baltimore County detective in downtown Baltimore turns herself in, strongly disputes police account

A Baltimore County police detective fired shots Tuesday in downtown Baltimore at a car driven by a woman wanted for robbery. On Thursday, Tiara Kianna Baker and her attorney strongly disputed the police account and said she was in fear for her life.
A Baltimore County police detective fired shots Tuesday in downtown Baltimore at a car driven by a woman wanted for robbery. On Thursday, Tiara Kianna Baker and her attorney strongly disputed the police account and said she was in fear for her life. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

Two days after Baltimore County Police opened fire while trying to arrest her outside a downtown Baltimore hotel, Tiara Kianna Baker turned herself in after giving a starkly different account of what happened during the hectic incident.

Baker, 22, and her attorney, Tony Garcia, told The Baltimore Sun that the Baltimore County detectives never identified themselves while approaching her car with guns drawn, and that Baker immediately tried to flee in a panic. Garcia also denied that Baker aimed her car at detectives, which county police said prompted them to shoot at her vehicle.

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Sitting in Garcia’s Baltimore office, Baker said Thursday that bullets grazed her right arm and the top of her ear.

Baker was denied bail during a hearing after she turned herself in, Garcia confirmed on Friday. Garcia said Baker had five different bail review hearings due to her having five open warrants.

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Baltimore County police responded Thursday that detectives used their flashing lights and were clearly marked as police officers, and that Baltimore City police have street camera footage of the incident.

Baker rammed into a Baltimore County police SUV and at least one other vehicle outside the Hotel RL in the Inner Harbor, police have said. Detectives and court records said Baker was wanted on a robbery charge in Baltimore County and theft charges in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County and Baltimore City.

Tiara Kianna Baker, 22, sits next to her attorney Tony Garcia after Baltimore County police officers fired shots at her in front of a downtown hotel in the city.
Tiara Kianna Baker, 22, sits next to her attorney Tony Garcia after Baltimore County police officers fired shots at her in front of a downtown hotel in the city. (Phillip Jackson)

Garcia strongly disputed the police account Thursday. He said two vehicles approached the front and back of Baker’s car after she left Hotel RL in the 200 block of East Redwood. Garcia said after a valet drove her to her car, a man charged at her with his gun drawn.

Garcia said Baker was “afraid for her life” because she is eight months pregnant, and went into “panic mode.” That’s when police said she tried to flee in her car and struck the other vehicles. As she was swerving away, Garcia said, police fired four shots at her.

“What she did is try to keep herself and try to keep her baby alive," Garcia said. “When you are being arrested, surviving should not be one of the elements. What they did was pull a gun on an unarmed Black pregnant woman and fire at her.”

He said police accounts that she drove her car at the officer are false. He said Baker had been grazed twice and had minor injuries from the shooting.

Baltimore County police said that at around 2:15 p.m. Tuesday they were at the Hotel RL trying to arrest Baker and another suspect. They said the pair noticed the officers, so detectives jumped out, turned on their lights and announced they were making an arrest.

Baltimore County police spokesperson Vickie Warehime said the red and blue lights on the police vehicles “were activated” and “standard police warnings" were issued, with detectives telling Baker to stop. Warehime said the word “POLICE” was on the outer vest of officers and they identified themselves as police officers.

Warehime said she does not believe the department should have done anything differently.

“The suspect ignored the commands and drove towards a detective" Warehime said. “The suspect should have complied with those commands given by police.”

The county police officers were not wearing body-worn cameras. The department believes that Baker was injured in the shooting but would not confirm how until she receives medical treatment, Warehime said.

The department identified the detective who fired as Z. Brocato, a 12-year veteran assigned to the Criminal Investigation Bureau, and said he has been placed on routine administrative leave after the incident.

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A warrant was issued for Baker on trespassing in March and another was issued for robbery, theft and assault charges in May, according to Maryland court records.

Baker turned herself in to authorities Thursday around 4:30 p.m., according to Garcia.

“There is nothing about her being on the run. She is not armed, she is not dangerous," Garcia said. “This is just glory hunting.”

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