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Crime & Justiceby Mark Reutter2:37 pmOct 6, 20150

Woman who accused Baltimore police of “rough ride” to be awarded $95,000

Board of Estimates set to settle case of Hampden woman who said police “manically drove” her unstrapped in a transport van. Also up for approval tomorrow – $125,000 to a man shot by police in 2013.

Above: A Baltimore Police Department transport van.

In a case with eerie parallels to Freddie Gray’s alleged mistreatment by Baltimore police, a Hampden woman who said she was given a “rough ride” by officers in 2012 is set to be paid $95,000 by the city.

Christine Abbott said two officers put her, bleeding and in handcuffs, into a police transport van, which they then “maniacally drove” to the police station, tossing her around the interior of the van and causing her further injuries.

In court documents, Officers Lee H. Grishkot and Todd A. Edick denied they gave a “rough ride” to Abbott, but Grishkot admitted that he did not strap or harness her into the back of the van as required by police procedures.

Last April, 25-year-old Gray suffered severe spinal injury in police custody and died after he was allegedly given a “rough ride” through West Baltimore in the back of a police van.

Six police officers have been indicted on various charges in connection with Gray’s April 19 death, which sparked protests and riots in parts of Baltimore.

Incident on York Road

This is not the only case of alleged police misconduct before the spending board tomorrow.

The panel is also set to pay out $125,000 to Dameatrice Moore, a bystander who was shot in the stomach and arm during a scuffle between a police officer and an unnamed individual on January 12, 2013.

The incident took place on the 5400 block of York Road, where police were breaking up a “rowdy crowd” near a pizza shop. Officer Quinton Smith said he shot Moore after he was thrown to the ground by another member of the crowd.

Moore, who was treated for his injuries at Johns Hopkins Hospital, was not charged in the incident.

Spawned by a Noise Complaint

The Abbott case started with a routine encounter with police.

Responding to a noise complaint on the 3800 block of Falls Road on June 2, 2012, Officer Edick talked to Abbott’s boyfriend, who was holding a party, and told him to put out his cigarette.

When the boyfriend refused, Edick threatened to use a Taser gun on him, at which point Abbott intervened and asked Edick to “calm down.”

According to her lawsuit and the city’s brief summary of the incident, Officer Grishkot “grabbed” Abbott and threw her to the ground, causing her dress to “become ripped” and “exposing her breast as she was stood up by the officer.”

Both officers refused to allow her to pull up her dress or call a female officer to help her cover her breasts and shoulders, which were cut and bleeding, according to her account of the incident.

Instead, the officers handcuffed her and put her in a transport van, but “did not strap or harness her in the back” of the van, which was “maniacally” driven to the Northern District police station.

Abbott was charged with “assault, resisting arrest, obstructing and hindering, and disorderly conduct,” and was detained for nearly a day before being released.

Abbott was hospitalized briefly for her injuries, and the charges against her were later dismissed.

“Because of conflicting factual and legal issues involved, and given the uncertainties and unpredictability of jury verdicts, the parties propose to settle the matter for a total sum of
$95,000 in return for a dismissal of the litigation,” according to the Board of Estimates agenda.

Such awards are typically approved without comment by the five-member spending board, which includes Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young.

Last month, the board approved a $6.4 million settlement to the family of Freddie Gray to avoid protracted litigation, according to Mayor Rawlings-Blake.

Both the Gray and Abbott settlements include “nondisparagement clauses” that require the plaintiffs not to discuss their cases publicly or give interviews to the news media.

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