Baltimore police commissioner helps make arrest

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Baltimore police commissioner helps make arrest
New Oakland interim Police Chief Howard Jordan listens during a news conference at Oakland City Hall in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011. Jordan replaced Anthony Batts, who resigned on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
In this photo from Oct. 13, 2011, former Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts attends a news conference in Oakland, Calif. Former Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts is expected to be named Baltimore's next police commissioner, the Baltimore Sun reported on Monday, Aug. 27, 2012. The appointment hasn't been formally announced, but sources told the newspaper that the mayor is expected to tap Batts to fill the job. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
FILE - A Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 file photo shows Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts at Girard College, in Philadelphia. Court papers show that on May 16, 2014, Batts got directly involved in an arrest, punching a suspect in the face and holding a gun to his head while trying to disarm the man. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts speaks at the news conference where Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and President Obama's top drug policy advisor, released the Obama Administration's National Drug Control Strategy, Wednesday, April 24, 2013, at the Welch Medical Library on the campus of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. (Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/MCT via Getty Images)
File - In this file photo from July 9, 2010 Oakland police chief Anthony Batts answers questions during a news conference in Oakland, Calif. Batts is one of two finalists for the top cop job in San Jose, Oakland officials said Monday, Jan. 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts talks at a news conference at police headquarters in Oakland, Calif., Monday, July 12, 2010, about pending police layoffs. Oakland officials and police union leaders are meeting in a last-ditch effort to prevent Monday's round of officer layoffs. Eighty of the city's 776 officers are scheduled to be laid off from the department by the end of Monday. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Miami Beach police Sgt. Anthony Batts, right, lifts up crime tape to allow a police car to enter the scene on Miami Beach near where a Chalk's Ocean Airways plane crashed into the ocean off Miami Beach, Fla., Monday, Dec. 19, 2005. The officer at left did not want to be identified. (AP Photo/Mitchell Zachs)

BALTIMORE (AP) -- When a man struggling with three Baltimore police detectives drew a loaded gun from his waistband, the city's police commissioner entered the fray, put his own gun to the suspect's head, punched him and caused him to release his weapon, according to an account in court records.

It happened May 16 as Police Commissioner Anthony Batts was riding in an unmarked car with the officers, Detective Ryan Diener wrote in charging papers that were filed against the suspect, 20-year-old Alante Moultrie.

The detectives, who also included Sgt. Derek Loeffler and Antonio Hopson, stopped the car outside a deli and approached a group of six men standing nearby, Diener wrote. He did not give a reason for the stop.

After identifying himself, asking Moultrie's name and getting a mumbled response, Diener wrote that he noticed a bulge in Moultrie's waistline.

Diener patted the man down and discovered a "hard object that I immediately recognized to be a handgun," the report reads. Diener shouted "Gun!" several times to alert his fellow officers, and tried to grab the firearm. Moultrie then pushed Diener, prompting Hopson and Loeffler to run to the officer's aid, Diener wrote. As the three officers tried to detain Moultrie, the man was able to retrieve the gun from his waistband.

Batts approached the struggling officers, drew his own gun and "placed it against Mr. Moultrie's head," the report reads. When Moultrie refused to weaken his grip on the firearm, Batts punched the man in the face, causing Moultrie to release the weapon. It turned out to be a loaded .32-caliber handgun.

Police say they recovered six rounds in the gun's magazine, as well four bags of suspected cocaine and a 3-inch folding knife.

Moultrie was handcuffed and taken to Johns Hopkins for treatment for an unspecified injury. When he was interviewed later by detectives, police say Moultrie admitted possessing the handgun, which is a violation of probation stemming from a prior conviction. Moultrie is also being charged with drug possession, second-degree assault and resisting arrest.

Batts, who has been in law enforcement since 1982, once served as a street patrolman. He sometimes rides with his officers. The police department said he would not comment on the incident because the charges against Moultrie are still pending.

"The commissioner was leading from the front, and at the end of the day he's a police officer as well as the commissioner," said Baltimore Police spokesman Lt. Eric Kowalczyk. "He is as focused on getting guns off the street as the officers that he leads."

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