A Maryland state trooper, who received national attention for coming to the aid of a man critically hurt at an Orioles game in 2013, has been charged with tracking down a man who flicked a cigarette at him and beating him up.
Trooper First Class Nathan Steelman, 28, was charged with second-degree assault and misconduct in office for the incident, which police say occurred in December 2014.
According to police, Steelman was off-duty and in regular clothes when he walked by a car in a convenience store parking lot and a man allegedly flicked a cigarette at him. An argument ensued, and the driver fled.
Police say Steelman took note of the driver's tag number, and after consulting with a supervisor was able to identify the driver and applied for charges from a court commissioner. Steelman went to the man's house in Glen Burnie and arrested him on charges of second-degree assault.
The man was "disorderly and uncooperative," and "belligerent," police said. Steelman told investigators that the man threatened him and his family.
Inside the Glen Burnie Barrack, Steelman pushed the handcuffed man into a restroom door and struck him multiple times in the body with a closed fist, police say.
At least one other trooper witnessed the incident and reported it. Maryland State Police conducted an investigation and referred it to the Anne Arundel County State's Attorney, which determined the charges.
Steelman served in Iraq with the Army for 15 months and is a former three-sport athlete in high school who played collegiate baseball at the University of Maryland. In 2013, he was at an Orioles game when Matthew Fortese was punched by another fan and fell, striking his head on the concrete. Steelman rendered aid to Fortese, who coincidentally was a childhood friend with whom he had lost touch.
Steelman was interviewed on CNN about his actions at the Orioles game.