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Baltimore Police detective charged with assaulting a grocery store shopper who refused to wear a mask

A Baltimore Police detective has been charged with misdemeanor assault and misconduct in office for allegedly slamming to the ground a man who refused to wear a face covering inside a West Baltimore grocery store last April 19.

Detective Andre Pringle, 45, faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for the misdemeanor assault charge. His attorney, Chaz Ball, declined to comment.

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The detective was indicted on the two charges last week by a Baltimore grand jury. He’s scheduled for arraignment April 9 in Baltimore Circuit Court.

The case stems from his encounter with a 25-year-old man last spring inside the Shoppers grocery store at Mondawmin Mall, prosecutors said.

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Prosecutors say Brandon Walker entered the store wearing his mask on top of his head and refused to pull it down over his face when asked to do so by a store manager and the store’s security officer. Orders from the governor and mayor required shoppers to wear masks in stores at that time.

Pringle was stationed at the supermarket and he escorted Walker, who according to the indictment had a cast on his right foot and walked with a crutch, out of the store.

“Mr. Walker was yelling and cursing at Detective Pringle as they continued towards the automated entry/exit doors,” prosecutors wrote in the indictment.

They wrote that Walker stopped in the enclosed area between the two automatic doors and glared at the detective.

“Detective Pringle grabbed Mr. Walker by his jacket and shoved him. Detective Pringle continued to push Mr. Walker out of the store’s exit. Once outside, Detective Pringle slammed Mr. Walker to the ground, face first, causing Mr. Walker to hit his head on the concrete,” prosecutors wrote.

The Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office announced the charges against Pringle on Wednesday.

“This indictment alleges actions that we simply cannot tolerate or accept from those that are sworn to protect and serve the citizens of this city,” State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said in the news release.

A 23-year veteran of the force, Pringle has been suspended with pay.

Walker was charged with assault, trespassing, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and failure to obey. The charges were dropped in November. He pleaded guilty to one count of violating orders under a state of emergency and received probation.

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