Man charged with attacking police officer at Bel Air Target

An Elkton man was held without bail after allegedly assaulting a Bel Air police officer at the Target store in Bel Air, according to a statement of charges.

Keith Wesley Smith, 20, of the first block of Seminary Lane in Elkton, is accused of attacking an officer who confronted him regarding a theft at the store last Friday.

While he was investigating the theft at Target on Tuesday, the Bel Air officer was told by Target employees that Smith, who was identified in surveillance video, was walking into the store, according to charging documents.

The officer approached Smith on Tuesday at about 3 p.m. in the store in the 500 block of Marketplace Drive.

Smith was also wanted on an outstanding warrant from Delaware for escape and theft from June 6, according to the officer's report.

The officer told him, "Keith, stop, police," to which Smith responded, "My name is not Keith, you have the wrong guy," according to the statement.

He then left the store toward the parking lot. When the officer put his hands on Smith's arm, Smith pushed out with his hands, hitting the officer's arms and chest, and fled through the parking lot, according to the documents.

A "concerned citizen" tried to stop Smith in the parking lot and helped the officer arrest him until other officers arrived on the scene, according to charging documents.

About the time of this incident, several Bel Air Police Department vehicles were seen racing down main streets in the downtown area toward the Marketplace Drive area.

Smith sustained minor injuries on his left elbow and right hip during the arrest.

The concerned citizen, identified as Gary Sullivan, also sustained a minor laceration to his left knee and refused medical treatment.

During a bail review in Bel Air Wednesday, District Court Judge Susan Hazlett ordered Smith to be held without bail despite a long plea from him and an explanation that he wants to return to rehab.

"I made a lot of mistakes in my life. I would like to get it straightened out," Smith told the judge. "I just really want to go to treatment."

An assistant state's attorney said he had an active detainer from Delaware for escaping, as well as five pending cases for theft or drug-related charges.

Smith "allegedly removed a handcuff key from his [buttocks] while in jail," the assistant state's attorney said.

Public defender Brian Cunningham told the judge Smith graduated from Rising Sun High School in 2010 and was working with a temp agency. He had been scheduled to go to treatment.

In this case, Smith is charged with two counts of second-degree assault, one on a law enforcement officer, and resisting arrest.

He was charged with same day with theft less than $1,000 and theft scheme less than $1000.

In the June 6 case, he is charged with theft less than $1,000.

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