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Crime

Abuse allegations against Anne Arundel County Sheriff’s Office sergeant ‘festered’ in agency while criminal case stayed closed, sources say

The Anne Arundel County Sheriff’s Office’s command staff knew of a domestic violence accusation involving Sheriff’s Sgt. Matthew Beall and another employee soon after the alleged incident last week but did not inform county police, delaying the investigation by several days, four law enforcement sources familiar with the matter said.

On the evening of July 11, Anne Arundel County Police were called to the parking lot of Marley Station Mall after a 911 caller reported he had seen a man throwing a woman to the ground. A county police officer spoke with Beall, who was outside the mall and said he was going to the gym, and stated he had not been there with a woman, police wrote in charging papers. With no victim present, and because Beall didn’t match the caller’s description, the officer let Beall go that night and closed the case without applying for charges.

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The following morning, command staff met with a lower-ranking deputy in the sheriff’s office who reported what the alleged victim, another sheriff’s office employee, told her about the incident, according to the sources, who asked to remain anonymous due to fear of retaliation.

Sheriff’s Col. Francis Tewey, second in command to Sheriff Jim Fredericks, acknowledged in an interview Monday that command staff knew of the allegations made against Beall, but he said the agency’s role was strictly administrative, and they left the criminal investigation of the matter up to the county police.

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The sources said assault allegations against Beall “festered” in the sheriff’s office July 12 and 13, while the command staff told some deputies that Capt. Brian Andre, Beall’s superior, would investigate the alleged matter between Beall and the other employee internally, and to back away from the case. Deputies were also told not to speak with the victim so as to not affect the investigation, the sources said.

As a result, the case languished until a sheriff’s deputy passed along information to Anne Arundel County Police on July 13, which ultimately led to Beall’s arrest and suspension early Friday morning.

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Tewey had previously told The Capital that the agency had not heard about the allegations against Beall until Thursday evening, when county police filed criminal charges in the days-old case. He said Monday that he was only referring to the criminal charges being filed. He declined to speak on specifics of the administrative handling of the incident, saying it was a personnel matter.

A memorandum of understanding between the agencies states that Anne Arundel County Police hold responsibility for criminal investigations.

After the sheriff’s deputy forwarded the victim’s information to Anne Arundel County Police on Wednesday, investigators reopened the case and ultimately arrested Beall on a misdemeanor assault charge early Friday morning. Police also learned of a separate incident in June in which the woman said Beall had assaulted her at a clubhouse in Glen Burnie. In that case, police filed second-degree assault and robbery charges against Beall.

Beall was not suspended by the sheriff’s office until his arrest Friday morning. His service weapon and employee keycards were taken from him as part of the suspension.

Declining to speak directly about Beall’s suspension, calling it a personnel matter, Tewey said deputies are immediately suspended when they are arrested on criminal charges, but can be suspended on a case-by-case basis for a “myriad of other reasons” when a personnel matter arises.

Beall is being represented by defense attorney Peter O’Neill in both cases. Beall is scheduled for a district court trial date in September for the incident at the mall and a preliminary hearing date in August for the June incident at the clubhouse.

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Stating that he was unable to speak further on the case, O’Neill said Beall maintains his innocence, and looks forward to a trial.


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