Two veteran Baltimore police officers have been indicted on unrelated charges, with one accused of drawing a gun at a bar when asked to pay his tab and the other of sexual harassment on the job.
Baltimore State’s Attorney Ivan Bates called a news conference Thursday afternoon to announce the indictments of Sgt. Larry Worsley and officer Walter A. Wilson, both of whom have been with the city police department for about two decades.
The first-term top prosecutor, a Democrat, said he was angered by the officers’ alleged actions.
“The allegations in these cases are unacceptable for anyone in our city, but especially for our law enforcement officers,” Bates said. “Such actions further erode public trust in the badge and do an incredible disservice to the majority of men and women at the Baltimore Police Department who protect and serve our city with integrity.”
Police arrested Worsley, who started with the department in 2003, on March 5 and he has been held without bond since at Baltimore Central Booking and Intake.
It’s unclear if Wilson, who began his tenure in 2000, will be arrested since he was charged by way of a criminal summons, which typically don’t result in arrest. The indictment, which charges him with one count of misconduct in office, is the first time he was criminally charged for a 2021 incident.
According to his indictment, Wilson groped a female police officer while responding that Oct. 20 to a call for someone who was discovered dead.
Standing on a porch, the indictment says, Wilson put his hand on the officer’s shoulder, turned her so she was facing away from him, slowly ran his hand down her back and touched her buttocks repeatedly.
Investigators were able to corroborate the female officer’s account by watching Wilson’s body-worn camera footage.
Wilson allegedly made lewd comments about the other officer at the Southwestern District station. When the female officer sent Wilson a text message saying he had made her feel uncomfortable with the unsolicited touching and comments, he responded by saying he made the joke “because the other officers said something about it,” according to the indictment.
After taking a week of sick leave, the other officer reported Wilson’s behavior, triggering an internal investigation. The indictment says the departmental investigation found Wilson violated several agency policies.
It’s unclear if Wilson is being represented by an attorney, as his case does not yet appear in online court records.
Baltimore Police said Thursday that Wilson’s police powers have been suspended. The department previously said it stripped Worsley of his police powers promptly following his arrest.
Wilson made about $121,000 in fiscal year 2021, while the city paid Worsley $115,000 over the same period, according to salary records.
On March 5, Worsley became “noticeably intoxicated” after having three tequila shots and assaulted a woman he was with inside a bar, according to charging documents and his indictment.
Told he had to leave the bar, Worsley allegedly told the woman “you’re coming with me” and tried to drag her away, prompting patrons to intervene, the court papers say. An employee followed Worsley outside and told him he had to pay his outstanding $42 bar tab.
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Worsley responded by pulling a .40 caliber handgun out from a satchel, racking the slide to chamber a round and telling the employee “I’m not paying for s---,” his indictment says. He allegedly proceeded to drag the woman from inside the bar by her hair toward a car.
Bates declined to say whether the handgun was Worsley’s service weapon.
The indictment charges Worsley with two counts each of first- and second-degree assault and using a firearm in the commission of a felony crime of violence, as well as theft of less than $100 and disorderly intoxication.
Online court records do not list an attorney for Worsley.
At the news conference, Bates denounced the officers’ behavior toward women.
“You can’t do that, not just to other officers, but you’re doing that to females,” Bates said. “Come on.”
Baltimore Sun reporters Lee O. Sanderlin and Darcy Costello contributed to this article.