'Wire' actor stabbed at party

The Baltimore Sun

An actor on the Baltimore-based HBO series The Wire was stabbed in the chest and buttocks during a melee early Sunday at a social hall in Overlea.

About 2 a.m., Baltimore County police rushed to Overlea Caterers Inc. in the 6800 block of Belair Road, and used pepper spray to disperse a crowd of about 30 people, several of whom were fighting, a police spokesman said yesterday.

After the fight was over, police officers discovered a wounded Christopher J. Clanton, 22, who had been stabbed in the right side of his torso and his buttock. Clanton, who played a recurring character on The Wire, was taken by ambulance to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, authorities said.

Reached by telephone yesterday morning, Clanton, 22, said he was in good condition and expected to be released later today or tomorrow.

"Mayhem broke out," Clanton recounted. He said he was trying to push past a fight between two other men when someone started fighting with him and others assaulted him.

"I was trying to get out of the way. I wanted to get past one of the guys that was involved," Clanton said. "It escalated from there."

Cpl. Michael Hill, a county police spokesman, said Clanton was the only person who reported being injured during the fight. At least 30 people were at the party, Hill said.

A manager at Overlea Caterers did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Clanton played Savino Bratton, a recurring character on The Wire who appeared in nine episodes in the first and fifth seasons.

The actor also was an extra on The Corner, a 2000 HBO miniseries about a Baltimore family's struggle within inner-city drug culture. The miniseries was based on a book by former Sun reporter David Simon, who also created The Wire, which ended this year.

Clanton has trained at Center Stage and with the Rising Stars Theater Troupe, according to his profile on the Internet Movie Database.

The actor, who lives in Northeast Baltimore, has had his own encounters with the law.

In August 2006, Clanton pleaded guilty in Baltimore Circuit Court to manufacturing, distributing and dispensing a controlled dangerous substance and other drug-related charges.

He was given a five-year sentence, four years of which were suspended, and subsequently placed on three years of supervised probation.

"All of that is behind me," said Clanton, who has a 5-year-old daughter and who says he recently started his own production company, Never Enough Entertainment.

"I'm actually moving forward," he said.

gus.sentementes@baltsun.com brent.jones@baltsun.com

Because of incorrect information supplied by the Baltimore County Police Department, an article in yesterday's Maryland section misidentified the business where an actor was stabbed Sunday. The incident occurred at the Overlea Event Center in the 6800 block of Belair Road.THE SUN REGRETS THE ERROR
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