The Aegis
Harford County

Bel Air Police make arrest in basketball court stabbing

A stabbing on a Bel Air basketball court last weekend may have been carried out on behalf of a third party, prosecutors said.


On Wednesday, police arrested Moniyu Brian Stokes, 22, of the 7200 block of Bridgewood Drive in Baltimore, for allegedly stabbing a Bel Air resident after a verbal confrontation Sunday on the outdoor basketball courts between Bel Air Middle and High schools. The victim’s injuries were not life-threatening, and he was released from the hospital later Sunday night, police said.

Stokes has been charged with first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and using a dangerous weapon with intent to injure, according to online court records.


Harford County District Court Judge Mimi R. Cooper ordered that Stokes remain at the Harford County Detention Center without bond after a bail review hearing Thursday afternoon.

Stokes appeared in District Court in Bel Air Thursday via video feed from the county jail. His public defender, Colleen Mahoney, said her client spent most of his life in Harford County and attended Bel Air High School. He has earned his GED and plans to attend trade school, she said.

Mahoney asked the judge to release Stokes on his own recognizance or set a bail amount.

Stokes told Cooper he is not a flight risk or danger to the community, saying he volunteers to help others, “just trying to uplift everybody around me.”

Assistant State’s Attorney Timothy Doory recommended Stokes remain in jail without bond. He described the attack on the victim, saying he suffered a slash cut along his arm.

Doory alleged the attack on the victim was a “planned retribution,” carried out by Stokes on behalf of a second suspect, who The Aegis is not identifying because he has not yet been charged.

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Stokes and the second suspect approached the victim while he was playing basketball with friends, according to charging documents. The pair approached the victim “aggressively” and were yelling at him, then began assaulting the victim, when Stokes allegedly cut him with a knife. Stokes and his associate then fled the scene in a car, according to police charging documents.


A friend took the victim to the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, where he met with officers from the Bel Air Police Department. The victim told police he had been in physical fights with the second suspect, according to charging documents.

“I think public safety is greatly impacted by this,” Doory told the judge.

Stokes, when his turn came to address Cooper, said the state’s allegations are “totally false,” before Mahoney urged him to not say anything that could harm his case.

Cooper cited Stokes’ record of prior arrests and criminal convictions when determining he should remain in jail, and she ordered that he have no contact with the stabbing victim.

The judge noted he is on parole in a prior assault case and a theft case. He pleaded guilty to two counts of theft less than $1,000 in August of 2015, plus he pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree assault also in August 2015. He received two sentences of 36 months in jail in each case, all time suspended, with his sentence scheduled to start in January of 2017, according to court records.