The man accused of assaulting Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott outside of a mayoral forum has filed his own charge, alleging it was Scott who struck him during the contentious encounter.
Video obtained by The Baltimore Sun shows the volunteer for a rival campaign shoving Scott and punching him in the face. Scott said he was not injured, but has filed for a restraining order. Police charged the man, who has made comments on social media that Scott’s staff considers threatening, with assault.
Michael Moore, 36, alleges Scott was the one who assaulted him as Moore attended the event in support of former Mayor Sheila Dixon. Moore filed charges Tuesday against the council president. He brought the charges himself, meaning police have not substantiated his allegations.
“I worked very hard to build my name and credibility as a law-abiding citizen. I might as well use the law in my defense," Moore said Wednesday.
Scott’s spokeswoman, Stefanie Mavronis, said the council president "will not be distracted from the important work of serving the people of Baltimore.”
“What he claims is patently false, and is contradicted by people who witnessed his behavior, his own statements on social media before and after the incident, and by his termination by the Dixon campaign," Mavronis said in a statement.
Moore was volunteering for Dixon’s campaign outside the entrance of the forum earlier this month at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum. Surveillance footage shows Scott walking toward the entrance, and attempting to go behind Moore. Moore wrote in his statement of charges that Scott “walked toward me and pushed me with his arms and his body.”
Scott is running for mayor in a crowded Democratic primary that includes Dixon and Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young.
Scott said after the incident that Moore stepped in front of him, blocking his way and pushing him. As Scott attempted to walk around him, Moore threw a punch that hit him in the face, the council president said.
Dixon dismissed Moore from her campaign immediately after the incident.
Ellis Staten Jr., a volunteer with a different campaign, witnessed the encounter and said in a statement that Scott did not do "anything to provoke this incident.”
Moore has posted on social media about his issues with Scott, both before and after their encounter. He wrote on his Facebook last week that, “Anytime I have government officials hating A Gun isn’t a option it’s the only way.”
There is a hearing scheduled for March 23 in Baltimore District Court on the charges filed against Moore and Scott.