City pays $72,000 to family arrested outside Federal Hill bar

The city's spending panel on Wednesday approved a $72,000 payout to three family members who accused Baltimore police of assaulting and falsely arresting them outside of a Federal Hill bar.

The Board of Estimates voted to award the money to Rony, Ronnie and Eileen Reyes to settle a $99 million suit brought against the police department after a 2010 incident at Mad River Bar & Grille.

On Oct. 16, the Reyes family went to the bar and stayed there until closing time, according to board documents.

About 1:45 a.m., a confrontation broke out between Mad River security personnel and the Reyes family, during which Eileen and Rony Reyes were knocked to the ground. According to the Reyes' suit, Mad River staff members punched, kicked and physically abused them, before throwing them outside.

Baltimore police officers became involved, handcuffing the Reyes men and throwing them to the ground, according to the suit.

"They both claim they were slammed face-first onto the sidewalk by police," board documents state. Rony Reyes alleged that while he was handcuffed, police officers shocked him with a Taser multiple times.

Police charged Rony and Ronnie Reyes with multiple counts, including disorderly conduct, but prosecutors dropped all charges. The family then filed suit, alleging false arrest and other counts.

Deputy City Solicitor David E. Ralph wrote that the law department was recommending settling the suit because of "conflicting factual issues and legal concerns."

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