Baltimore Police detective suspended after judge orders him to give up gun in domestic violence case

Baltimore police have suspended a detective who has been the subject of costly lawsuits after a Harford County judge barred him from carrying a gun. The judge’s order came after the detective’s children's mother leveled allegations of domestic violence and child abuse.

A woman who had several children with the detective, Calvin Moss, sought a protective order in May that was granted May 29. She wrote in the application that she and her four children had been placed into a safe house by Harford County officials in February. But Moss found the location of the safe house and parked outside, yelling and making threats, the woman wrote.

The woman said Moss told her: “The end is coming for you. Your time is running out. Kiss kids while you can.”

Baltimore police spokesman Detective Jeremy Silbert confirmed that Moss had been suspended with pay and that Internal Affairs officers were investigating the allegations of domestic abuse.

Moss’ attorney declined to comment.

Moss, an amateur cage fighter who joined the Police Department in 2004, has been the subject of controversy on the job in the past. In the span of less than 10 years, he was named as a defendant in four lawsuits filed by people alleging misconduct . He was cleared of wrongdoing in two, but settlements in the others have cost the city $250,000.

The mother of Moss’ children previously sought a protective order against him in 2012. In that case, she alleged that he put a gun to her head and threatened her.

The woman wrote that Moss’ sergeant, a lieutenant and a sergeant from Internal Affairs interviewed her after that incident and told her that Moss was being suspended. Silbert did not respond to questions about the 2012 case.

A judge granted a temporary order in that case but the woman didn’t show up for court to seek a final order, records show.

In the May case, the woman described alleged abuse involving Moss beating his children with a wooden spoon dating to November 2017. Then in February, the woman wrote, their son’s school called and said the boy was causing self-harm. Moss went to get him, the woman wrote, but “he didn’t take him to get medical help even though school told him it was needed asap.”

That evening, the woman and the children moved into the safe house, which is run by a Harford County nonprofit that aids victims of domestic violence. In early May, the woman said Moss followed her there, and a week later she filed for the protective order.

On May 29, Harford County Circuit Judge M. Elizabeth Bowen issued a yearlong protective order against Moss. Bowen concluded there was enough evidence to find that Moss physically abused their son and put the woman “in fear of imminent serious bodily harm.”

The judge ruled that Moss had towered over the woman, placing his forehead on hers and telling her, “No one would think anything of it if you were found dead of an overdose.”

Moss was ordered to surrender his guns to the Harford County sheriff’s office and told not to possess any firearms until the protective order expired. Bowen ordered him to take part in a “court certified Abuser Intervention Program.”

Moss has been sued four times in 10 years over misconduct allegations.

In 2010, a woman sued Moss and Detective Dan Hersl for battery, false arrest and false imprisonment, alleging that she was selling church raffle tickets when they accused her of selling drugs and sent her to jail. The case was ultimately settled for $100,000. Hersl was convicted by a federal jury this year as part of the Gun Trace Task Force corruption case and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

In 2013, Moss was sued by a man he shot in the hand, causing him to lose part of a finger. The man alleged that another officer falsely told Moss that the man had a gun. The city settled the case in 2015 for $150,000.

In two other lawsuits, Moss was was cleared by juries.

Moss was also identified in a lawsuit brought by former Det. Joseph Crystal alleging that Crystal faced retaliation after testifying against two officers in an assault prosecution. Moss wasn’t a defendant in the case, but Crystal alleged that Moss was present during the assault and later called him a “rat.”

“Hey, are you guys having a cheese party?” Crystal alleged Moss asked him at one point in 2012. “What? I’m just asking whether you are having a cheese party. I know rats like cheese.”

The city settled the case with Crystal in 2016 for $42,000.

iduncan@baltsun.com

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