A retired Baltimore police officer and two other men pleaded guilty after a brawl with a rival motorcycle club in Baltimore County Circuit Court on Thursday.
Four members of the Chosen Sons Motorcycle Club were charged after a fight with the Iron Order in Essex in June 2014.
Keith Romans, 39, who retired from the city police force in 2012, and a second member, Alessandro Lori, 45, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. A third member, Nicholas Burkey, 46, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault. All three men received suspended sentences and one year of unsupervised probation and 50 hours of community service, said assistant state's attorney, John Reilly.
Also charged in the fight was Baltimore police officer David Crites, 39, whose case was postponed until April 14. He is suspended during the investigation.
Reilly said the fight was in retaliation over a previous incident between the clubs.
"The Chosen Sons then instigated a fight," he said. Six people were injured, he said.
Tim Taylor, president of the Cecil County chapter of the Iron Order, who was hit in the head and jaw in the fight, said the charges were "a step in the right direction."
He said Chosen Sons members surrounded and outnumbered his club members.
Romans' attorney, Joseph Murtha, said there were "clearly two sides of the story, but the other side didn't get charged. There was a fight and a lot of people involved. People were selectively charged."
Murtha said the plea was a compromise. He said his client was a marine for 12 years before becoming a police officer. He was medically retired from the department at the time of the fight.
Romans survived a shooting in 2010, was awarded the department's medal of honor -- its highest decoration -- and nominated as an "all-star" on the television program "America's Most Wanted."
Lori and Burkey's attorneys declined to comment. A message left at a number on the Chosen Sons website Wednesday was not returned Thursday.
The club was started by city police officers in 1969, according to the website. Norman Stamp, a Baltimore police officer and one of the founding members, was shot and killed by police in 2008 responding to a report of fight at a Southeast Baltimore strip club. Stamp was off duty at the time.
A Baltimore police spokesman said previously that city police officers are "prohibited from making personal contacts with persons of questionable character, or visiting places where suspected violations of the law may be occurring, unless necessary to do so in the performance of their duty."
In Denver, Colorado, on Saturday, members of another Iron Order chapter and a club called Mongols were involved in a brawl that left one man dead and several others injured.
http://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2016-02-02/fast-growing-motorcycle-group-is-largely-for-law-enforcementThe Iron Order has been known nationally also to have law enforcement members. A Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives report described Iron Order as one of the nation's fastest-growing clubs that continues to expand into territories normally controlled by well-established outlaw gangs despite the violence.
Taylor said the Cecil County chapter organized two years ago is associated with a national club. He said there are no law enforcement officers in his chapter.
"We're a law abiding club," he said. "We're a defensive club."
The Associated Press contributed to this story.