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Off-duty detective strikes dirt bike rider, assaulted by other riders at scene

Off-duty detective strikes dirt bike rider, assaulted by other riders at scene
Det. Dawnyell Taylor, an investigator with the Baltimore Police Department, after she testified at the trial of Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. (Justin Fenton)

An off-duty police detective was assaulted by dirt bike riders in West Baltimore Saturday after she struck a dirt bike, police said.

The detective was driving south in the 1100 block of Monroe St. in her personal vehicle "when she inadvertently struck a dirt bike," police department spokesman T.J. Smith said.

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When she got out to check on the rider, Smith said, other riders assaulted her. The dirt bike riders fled before other officers arrived, Smith said.

The detective was taken to a local hospital for an ankle injury. Smith said it is unclear whether the dirt bike rider was injured.

The detective is Dawnyell Taylor, the homicide investigator who was the police department's lead detective last year in the investigation into the death of Freddie Gray, police sources said.

Smith said he did not believe the dirt bike riders knew the woman was a police officer. He said the suspects who assaulted her had not been identified.

"This incident underscores the dangers of dirt bikes on city streets," Smith wrote in an email, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis recently convened a dirt bike task force.

Taylor made headlines during the trial of Officer Caesar Goodson when she outlined her skepticism of the prosecution's case. Goodson, who faced a charge of second-degree murder in the death of Gray, was acquitted of all charges last week.

Taylor said in police records reviewed by The Sun that she found inconsistencies in a narrative provided to her in advance of a grand jury in Gray's arrest and death.

Taylor testified during Goodson's trial that she turned her notes over to defense lawyers, who objected that prosecutors didn't provide them at first. Prosecutors said in court that they didn't have the notes. Taylor later testified that she offered to provide her notes but that prosecutors didn't want them.

Baltimore Sun reporters Justin Fenton and Justin George contributed to this story.

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