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Zayne Abdullah, 23, and Donnell Burgess, 20, were arrested in connection with a case involving a police officer who was assaulted. Police also arrested a 17-year-old who is not pictured.
Zayne Abdullah, 23, and Donnell Burgess, 20, were arrested in connection with a case involving a police officer who was assaulted. Police also arrested a 17-year-old who is not pictured. (Baltimore Police Department)

A Baltimore police sergeant told several people standing in front of a store to “move along” then “inadvertently” bumped shoulders with one of the men just before an altercation that left the officer banged up and three men charged with assaulting him, according to police charging documents.

After the two men bumped shoulders in the 1500 block of Pennsylvania Ave., a man police identified as Zayne Abdullah, 23, took exception.

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“The word is excuse me,” Abdullah, 23, allegedly said to the officer before spitting in the sergeant’s face, according to charging documents.

The document only identifies the policeman as “Sgt. Simpson,” and police have not yet released his first name. The altercation was captured on video by bystanders and posted on social media. Police have reviewed and saved the footage, according to the charging documents.

As Simpson began trying to arrest Abdullah, an unidentified bystander “strikes downward with his fist on Sgt. Simpson’s right arm in an attempt to free Mr. Abdullah,” the document said.

A woman can be heard yelling, “kick him ... beat him, stomp him, stomp him,” as Simpson is assaulted, according to the police charging document.

Donnell Burgess, 20, was charged with participating in the assault and attempting to free Abdullah by dragging the officer across the ground, according to court records. A teenager also was charged.

Both Abdullah and the sergeant fell to the ground as Simpson began to tell Abdullah to stop resisting, the documents state. The sergeant said he was punched several times in the face and upper torso. While on the ground, according to the document, the officer said he was kicked several times on the left side of his head by unknown individuals.

The video of the arrest posted online begins when both men are tussling on the ground, corroborating the account in the charging documents.

As more officers arrived, the physical struggle continued in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Abdullah is charged with three counts of assault, including on a law enforcement officer; disorderly conduct; and resisting or interfering with an arrest.

Burgess was arrested and charged Sunday with assault on police and resisting arrest in relation to the assault. An unnamed 17-year-old also was arrested and charged as a juvenile, according to a police news release.

Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted that the incident is an example that violence has “become far too common” in Baltimore.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison held a press conference after the incident while standing next to Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young. Harrison initially said the officer was conducting a business check at the scene before the incident occurred.

Harrison said he was “outraged” in a statement that was released on Saturday. Young tweeted Saturday that the city is “happy” the sergeant involved was not severely injured.

Online court records did not list attorneys for Abdullah or Burgess.

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Baltimore police could not confirm if video from the sergeant’s body-worn camera exists at the time of publication.

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