BALTIMORE (WJZ)— A night at a Canton bar ends with an off-duty Howard County police officer in handcuffs.

Kelly McPherson has more on what happened when police tried to make the arrest.

An off-duty Howard County officer is facing assault charges after a night of drinking in Canton.

Sources tell WJZ that prior to his arrest at 2 a.m. Sunday, 23-year-old Casey Lechter—a probation officer in Howard County for more than a year—was partying with friends and drinking alcohol.

Baltimore City police say he and Kary Williams created a rowdy scene on O’Donnell Street just as bars were closing, screaming that they hated cops.

A uniformed, on-duty city female officer tried to arrest Williams when Lechter punched her in the back of the head.

“They’re supposed to be held to a higher standard and that’s unacceptable,” said Linnette Martinez. “And we’ve been seeing that lately coming up more and more, so it’s very troubling.”

People who were there at 2 a.m. say that the square essentially shut down. The streets were filled with ambulances and cop cars.

“It’s a bad thing to hear about, and it’s a bad thing for the community, and it’s awful,” said Michelle Bollino.

Police say Lechter and Williams both resisted arrest. Lechter was yelling that he was a cop, Williams was flailing his body and spraying blood on several officers from a wound on his head.

A passerby even helped pin Lechter down onto a parked car until other city officers arrived.

“This area is very exclusive and it’s really sad that this would happen here,” Martinez said.

“Everybody’s peaceful and then you throw a couple of bad apples, the police come down here to try to break everything up and it causes a rough time,” said Josh.

Howard County police say Lechter has been suspended.

Williams and Lechter have been charged with assault and resisting arrest. They will be in court later this month.

Comments (84)
  1. this guy says:

    I agree with you, Herman. I’m just surprised he didnt pull his gun. Ha

  2. Hmmm, yeah. says:

    That comment is completely ignorant and (this guy), you’re a complete moron for agreeing with it. Police officer provide a valuable service daily. Yes, form time to time, some cops do make pathetic choices and should be punished swiftly. However, those number of officers are less than 1%. The average officer wakes up daily, serves his community honorably, and sacrifices his life. Without those that serve (The military, police, and fire), we’d be a third world country. Look at the big picture and think before you speak.

    1. joyce dorsey says:

      We all know about the good officers. We are talking about the ones like the above article. How about the officers that come to your house, who were not dispatched to come to your house. . You have a parade of cars trying to over shine the ones who were dispatched. The original one have to apologize for their unethical behavior as an Officer of the law and totally disrespect your home.

  3. bluescorpion says:

    my son’s a cop. Everyday I pray that he makes right decisions and arrives safely home to his family

    1. joyce dorsey says:

      Do not disrespect your son by calling him a cop. He is an Officer of the Law and so is my brother . We send the same prayer for him. and his fellow Officer of the Law

      1. workingman says:

        joyce your worried about that! the term cop comes from when there badges were made from copper .hence the term copper /cop this officer of the law/cop is out there punchin women /cops in the face!!! what do you have to say about that????

      2. JQP says:

        working man, the etymology of the term “cop” begins in England, where the police wore uniforms with copper buttons. they were called “coppers”, which Americans, naturally, shortened it to “cops”…. sorry, i just like to be clear.

  4. sven says:

    Someone needed to remind Officer Casey Lechter your not in Kansas, errr I mean Howard County anymore, where Howard County PD, errr I mean the Good Ole Boys Club can do whatever they please. A probationary cop only initiates what he is taught. Out there in Howard County them cops beat on everybody, man, woman and children. Heck they’ll kick in your door and shot your dog for good measure.

    1. Tank says:

      The article states “has been a probation officer for over a year” implying that he worked for the Corrections Department as a probation officer. Otherwise, he is a sworn law enforcement officer-new hires are hired on a probationary status meaning that within the first year, they can be fired without cause. Another example of a poorly written article: either the facts are incorrect or there was a deliberate decision to write the article in an inflammatory manner. There is a big difference between LEO and probation/parole officers

  5. E Stewart says:

    It’s widely known that the qualifications for new prospects in many police departments in the area have been compromised. Economic realities have dictated such ‘necessities’. The cost of protecting the citizenry has in some instances been given priority over the quality of that protection. Similar fates have befallen education, fire fighting, medical care, etc. From lower standards come inferior products, or in this case, service.

    1. joyce dorsey says:


  6. Rob says:

    We ARE third world, look around! As for Canton
    “Exclusive???” that’s the best laugh I’ve had in years! You’re no more than an edge of Fells Point (bowery) for gutless aging yuppies!

    1. Bernie says:

      You sound envious dic head.

    2. Billiam says:

      Rob – you are clueless. Take it somewhere else in your life. Canton is flourishing – I grew up there as a child in the late 60’s and the area is now a great place to be. Yes, there have been a few crimes, but a hell of a lot less than downtown Baltimore, west Baltimore or North Baltimore. You’ll have your rowdies anywhere – unfortunately this one got out of hand and made the news, as it should have. Don’t throw Canton under the bus – the people there take pride in their homes and establishments. The parking leaves a little to be desired, but it’s a great place to be.

  7. CitizenG says:

    Police officer…..probation officer…it makes no difference! Everyone is accountable for their actions in public. Especially when decent people visits an establishment for leisure and fun. If you don’t know how to conduct yourself sensibly in public…stay home! I feel that probation officer should be charged and discipline like any other person who don’t know how to conduct himself in public….and had the gull to hit a female…regardless if she is an officer…is highly unacceptable. Especially with him being a probation officer inter-acting with law-breakers on probation…is unequivacable unacceptible! The law is the law for everyone!

  8. LAW1 says:

    Let me set things straight. First i am in The LE feild and the truth of the matter is this for all you self righteous Police officers who dont wanna reveal the truth. It USED to be that Police were honarable and upstanding. The truth is today the majority of officers are messing up and its just now coming to light. The spot light has turned to public servants and now its being exposed. Some of the things that go on everyday in diffrent jurisdictions are terrible from the western counties to the eastern shore its more than 1%. I challenge any officer to disagree

  9. Darrius says:

    Lol y’all too funny

  10. jas says:

    I was right there and saw the wholeeeee thing. it was bad.

    1. marylandbrowngirl says:

      who was at fault? exactly what happened?

  11. Phong says:

    They should Not Drink and Drive and they should follow The Laws!!!! Thing they do So do we , But anyone could get Trouble for what we did wrong !!!???!!! How can they do that without Trouble…Drink and Drive???? This could caused more Seriously Injured someones else…..!!! Or could be Killed!!!!

  12. Don says:

    The headlines lead one to believe that the “officer” was a police officer.
    Very poor reporting on the part of WJZ. Many city and county employees
    can be called officer, however, that does not mean that they are police
    officers. Again very poor and misleading headlines on the part of WJZ.

  13. James says:

    What a tough guy.

  14. Brandt says:

    This guy and his buddy are obviously punks. That being said it appears they are also veterans, or at least one of them is, and while every American should thank them for their service, a lot of these guys come back from the military and apply to join a police force and don’t seem to understand that they are now civil servants, not combat soldiers and they have a tough time making that transition. They should have more screening for former military before letting them into civil service like law enforcement

  15. chris says:

    this is what happens when crackers start to drink, they dont know how to handle there liqour

      1. Billiam says:


      2. ha ha says:

        *see story re: Bourban Street* for further details about non-crackers maintaining decorum while drinking. cheers!

  16. Mark says:

    Okay, is it just me or is anyone else suspicious that Williams was cut on the head so profusely that “flailing… blood was everywhere” but the story never mentioned why? Maybe the officer’s were being jerks, but that is what the first amendment is about, being allowed to say “jerkish” things and not being harassed by the government. I think that more will come out over this story in the future…. but I’ve been wrong about things before.

  17. zeeke says:

    this officer may suffer from wyatt earp syndrome. he was issued a badge and abused his authority. this officer needs to be treated for his problem like any other citizen and given a second chance with strict guidlines. no second chance. he just drank his last drink.

    1. Devils Advocate says:

      Probation Officers don’t have guns and badges… their only weapons are pens and paper they are not law enforcement officers….

  18. Doug says:

    We never got into a fight just smoking pot.
    Then again a bully is a bully.
    A lot of cops are the X school bully’s,who couldn’t find a better job.

  19. Steve says:

    They should ban the F.O.P. stickers they put on personal vehicles. Then you couldn’t tell they are the worst drivers on the road. Tell me WHY a Transit cop turns on lights to go through traffic light in SEVERNA PARK. NOWHERE near any toll facilities. Officers used to deserve “Respect” But, too many set poor examples. Drunks, spouse abusers, druggers. Because we can’t understand the “Stress”.

    1. MLN says:

      As a former police officer, now in my second career. I have to say you are right on a few points. Its very sad. But there are thousands of officers that do the right things every day. Just keep that in mind. To throw such a wide net on all LE officers is wrong. MOST LE Officers really do the job, for all of the right reasons~! And until you walk in their shoes- NO ONE has the right to judge all.

      1. I'm Just Saying says:

        don’t you love how is ok for the general public to form an opinion about police officer which may i mention yet again this person is not a police officer he is a probation officer … anyway back to the point the general public can hate on cops because of the actions of few yet if you hate on someone of a different race because of the actions of few you are a racist… hummm something’s wrong with this picture…

  20. whatnow says:

    The economy isn’t the reason we have less honorable people in these positions. You used to have to take a psychology test and be a certain height. But that was deemed inequitable by the courts after suits from the ACLU.

  21. Joe says:

    Since the “story” created by the female officer is completely lacking in any detail of how Williams suffered severe bleeding, there is an obvious massive black hole in it. Which parts were FABRICATED?

    “flailing his body and spraying blood on several officers from a wound on his head.” He was using his wound and blood as a squirt gun? Come on.

    For everyones sake, I hope there is video of this incident. Its ridiculous to think she could

    1. determine who in a large crowd said f the police. and
    2. that a cop would punch another cop in the back of the head.

    I wonder if the entire crowd will collaborate this story.

    1. chris says:

      i am just glad this time a white person got beat up and police brutality was used on them. he deserved to get clobbered in the head, thats his dumbness for continuiing to run his mouth. he drank too much and got beat up so good for them

      1. pigeon says:

        You need to go back and read the story again – you certainly are making mistaken comments about what happened and to whom.

      2. Claire says:

        Chris, get an education please. You are naive if you think police brutality only happens to minorities. Incase you have forgotten to open your eyes, our country is filled with several different races all of which are fully capable of being prejudice.

    2. Claire says:

      Joe- apparently someone did get pictures of the incident, thankfully. The police officers threatened to arrest the person who was taking pictures if they did not stop so they went over to the other side of the street. My husband is good friends with Casey, they are both veterans of Afghanistan. I will be praying for my friend that justice is served and he does not lose his career over it, he does not deserve it one bit. I do not see him as the type of person who would ever hit a woman. It is so frustrating and infuriating to see the media only tell one side of this story. We were celebrating his birthday on Saturday night, his girlfriend was sweet enough to throw him a surprise party. That was the first time I met his family and they were all lovely people. We had left before all of this stuff allegedly happened, so I am not sure exactly how it went down.. only what I have heard through my husband.

    3. Claire M says:

      And yea – the reason he was bleeding profusely was because multiple officers apparently attacked him, causing injury that was so severe he had to go to John Hopkins.

    4. molly douglas says:

      Joe, thank you for saying something sensible. There is just so much lacking in the story. How did Williams get injured in the first place?

  22. sezmane says:

    Why does everyone insult each other it’s just dialogue on an open forum but its’ people use this to express unwarranted comments. You feel how you feel fine but be diplomatic people remember IP addresses can be traced!!!

    1. chris says:

      okay you said all of that to say what. somebody is going to trace me down and come beat me up. shut up you sound stupid

  23. sezmane says:

    Chris chris chris hopefully your not at work!

    1. chris says:

      are you at work suzanne

      1. ChuckB says:

        Chris, what’s your problem? Do you have to pull the race card in every comment you post?

  24. pigeon says:

    He is NOT a cop (proper terminology is police officer) – he is a probation officer – media needs to use proper wording – any way you look at the picture, he was in the wrong – guess it may have something to do with the company he keeps day in and day out. I see where his picture shows him in combat gear; perhaps he needs assistance in getting over any tour of duty he may have had outside of the USA. Someone needs to assist him. Howard County prides themselves highly, well now is the time to step forward and give this young man the help he needs!

    1. Claire M says:

      The company he keeps day in and day out? He has amazing parents and a girlfriend who is about to graduate college.. he doesn’t do drugs and obviously isn’t a delinquent if he is a police officer. My husband is in the Marines with him and they did see some crazy stuff in Afghanistan – my husband has a Purple Heart to prove it. But none of them are troubled or “bad seeds.” None of them would ever lay a hand on a woman.. and Casey is no exception to that! He is a good, laid back guy and the media is just doing what it does best: tell the most interesting side of the story. None of the guys seem troubled from their tour, and they go through counseling once they get home to make sure they are okay. The Baltimore City officers are fabricating what they can so that the excessive force they used seems necessary.
      In order to enter the academy you have to have an extensive background check done as well as many other things that check for character. When another friend was in the academy, he told me someone was dropped because he was racist. Obviously, you have to display outstanding character to make it through the academy.

  25. Claire M says:

    Actually – he is a police officer, not a probation officer, and I was actually with him earlier this night. I think what they mean is that he was on a probationary period. My husband and I left early and did not stay until closing time. He went to Afghanistan with my husband and is a really good guy. They were in infantry, so they were not sitting behind a desk in some safe fort.. they were putting their lives on the line every day for our country. They are Marines who were doing tours through dangerous cities and risking IED exposure every day, sleeping on the mud in freezing cold temperatures and eating meals from a bag. My husband came home from the deployment with a Purple Heart. They are both American heros. Him hitting another person would be totally out of character for him. He is a calm person with a goofy demeanor. I don’t think I could even picture him yelling at someone menacingly. I recently spent a week with him for a ski trip we were on and got to know him pretty well, and can say that he is one of the nicest and most laid back guys in my husbands circle of friends. All of our friends that we went to school with that had just met him loved him as well.
    But I guess because this female officer claimed she was hit by him it must be true? I mean, we all know how credible the Baltimore City police officers are. Look at the recent tow company scandal. His girlfriend was alongside him during the incident and she was completely sober, his remark about the cops was purely a joke. What they did not tell you in this fabrication of events was that they arrested another Howard County officer that was with them because he demanded to know why the Baltimore City officers were arresting a fellow officer. They also did not say that they beat up the two boys so bad that they each had to go to John Hopkins for medical treatment, that the Baltimore City cops kicked my friend in the face once he was already in handcuffs.
    My friend is not the kind of person to ever lay a hand on a woman, whether drunk or sober. This whole ordeal is absolutely ridiculous. The sad thing is, Baltimore City police officers can get away with lying about accounts of assault to get away with using excessive force.
    I have been a victim of this myself, and so has another friend of mine. I have been arrested for “hindering,” basically for stepping out of a bar in Fed Hill at the wrong time, and spent 12 hours in Central Booking. They said I was asking too many questions. When I was arrested, three male officers grabbed me and threw me on the ground. Keep in mind I am 5″2 and weigh about 100lbs, so even if I tried to resist arrest any man would be able to contain me. Not to mention that I was in a dressy night outfit, I didn’t look too threatening. Unless they thought I was going to pull a knife from my cleavage or something.. who knows.
    Another time, I was designated driver for an old room mate who is a recent college graduate and who just wanted to have a girl’s night. We left the bar and were heading home when we saw a male friend of ours getting yelled at by the police because he was trying to help his friend who was a bouncer break up a fight. The bouncer was trying to tell the officer that the guy was his friend and just trying to help, but the officers just kept yelling at him. We didn’t want to see our friend get arrested so we just told him to walk away before he got into trouble, and once he did the police officer came after him with a taser. After all of the commotion, I was just standing there with my girl friend and the cop looked at her and said “Arrest his little girl friend, too.” Next thing you know, she was being arrested, too! Apparently the cop was a racist and has had complaints about him made before – but our guy friend who was originally in trouble is African American, and the officer thought that my friend was his girlfriend and that it was an interracial relationship. Once he had them apprehended he proceeded to spit out racial slurs to the two of them and tell her she was a disgrace for dating him. She spent 18 hours in Central Booking with charges of “Hindering” and “Disorderly Conduct.” The police report said that she was tugging on the police officers arm and was yelling at him, and that our guy friend punched the officer in the face. I had been drinking water with lemon all night and witnessed the whole thing- the officer was never punched, and so much of the report was fabricated.
    I think that these officers are just on a power trip. It is extremely out of control. In Baltimore City there are real criminals out there, obviously. While in jail I got to meet plenty of junkies who were used to floating through the system, who were arrested for drugs and released the next day. There was a six month pregnant woman who looked about 19 who was hooked on Oxycontin. Why isn’t anyone cracking down on these individuals? It is pretty sad and extremely disappointing that my friend could possibly lose his career over some officer saying he punched her, despite the fact that there were multiple eye witnesses saying that did not happen. The reality of it is that they can make up whatever they want to throw in your report if it makes it seem like excessive force was necessary, therefor they get to beat you to a pulp. I plan on doing what I can to bring awareness to this issue, this is absolutely ridiculous. Those people are abusing their power to the extreme and are using it for their sick pleasure. I do not believe that all police officers are like this, either. I do not even believe that all Baltimore City cops are like this, but all of the ones that I have encountered have been. Obviously, Casey is my friend and I know he is a good guy. Many of my friends from high school went off to become county cops and they are all good guys themselves, one of them is actually one of my husbands best friends. Our former room mate is a state trooper. I have an extreme amount of respect for anyone who chooses that career path.

    1. marylandbrowngirl says:

      Thank you for the information and the clarification. I pray that you all get the opportunity to share your side of the story in court.

    2. What? says:

      I hear what you’re trying to say, but my problem with all your defending of this nice guy is that you were not there. Sooooooo… don’t know what happened, and you don’t know what Casey is capable of when he drinks.

      By the way, yelling that you hate cops on a busy bar street is no joke. You saying that he was joking makes my spider sense tingle that there are issues.

    3. Pierre Gibbons says:

      Claire, a lot of what you write is well thought out and conveyed. I can even agree with some of it. These two statements are very contradictory!

      “I have an extreme amount of respect for anyone who chooses that career path”

      “You can breathe wrong and get arrested if they don’t like the way you look”

      Let the emotion go! Drinking is what brings people to do not so smart things (All of the incidents you report in your stories about Baltimore Police) happen to be at closing time when everyone is at their best!! Trust me I have been there and have seen it myself. Good luck getting justice! On duty Police win 99% of the time. Their word against his word. Not so good for him. Sorry! Assult and resisting arrest (2) years minimum. (6) months for sure.

  26. Somebody says:

    Alcohol seems to bring the worse out of people; Cop or not. Basically the guy commited a crime and now will have to face the law for what he did. Him just being a police officer [ probationary or not] and beng a former marine, just makes it look far worse than what it is on him than had he been a civilian. Do the crime do the time.

    1. Claire M says:

      Yea – if you actually committed the crime, I can see what you are saying. Baltimore City is notorious for fabricating stories. Several witnesses said that the woman was never punched, including the friends and family that were with him (not everyone there was drinking, so there are credible witnesses). You can breathe wrong and get arrested if they don’t like the way you look.

  27. Somebody says:

    is it CAPS lock friday, and I have to tell you Martha, you are really original with your postings. you get a GOLD STAR for the day YAAAAAAAY.. I know I know I am a jerk : eyes are rolling:

  28. Claire M says:

    Have any of you people considered what motive my friend would even have to hit a woman? Especially a woman police officer? Mind you, he was with his girlfriend, his mother, his father and his brother.. and he himself is a police officer. Doesn’t make much sense, does it? But I guess because this female officer claimed it happened, it must be true! Drunk or not drunk, my friend is someone who has morals and would never commit such an act. Apparently they beat his brother severely in the head and maybe he was trying to pull them off of him, but he is not that kind of person to just attack a woman. I hope the officers that are fabricating this whole thing burn for it. I hope they lose their jobs and have to endure public humiliation, as well.

    1. Jason says:

      I don’t know the details any better than anyone else, but I served with Casey in Afghanistan. I have seen him sober and after a few drinks and this is not consistent with his previous behavior in either state.

      He didn’t randomly choose to assault an officer of the law.

  29. MomOfTwoBoys says:

    And what makes you think that there are no jerk cops in Howard County? I live in Howard County. There’s always a bad cop anyway where you go. So don’t try to cover for someone just because you know him. And, he’s been a cop since August of last year… so isn’t he on probation for a year? so officially not off his probationary period? unless not like that in Howard County? You want to clarify that for us, too? I know Baltimore is bad, but you can’t just say everyone is bad. Besides, we all know, when people drink, people do and say stupid things. And, you weren’t there to witness everything. So you can’t just go by what he said she said stuff. So, let’s just let it all come out in court, shall we? Let the witness who were there tell their stories in court. Otherwise, it’s just unfair for both the officers of Baltimore and for the probationary officer of Howard County.

  30. CCByrd says:

    Just a knuckle head acting like a fool. Anyone else suprised that a knuckle head would be acting like a fool in Canton? lol. And what exactually is Canton “Exclusive” to??? This story and the comments are tooooo much. It doesnt matter what job this guy has; he’s a 23 year old kid that got drunk. Jeeeeze, it happens all the time. Ever live on or around a military base? This kind of stuff happens every weekend and it never makes the news. Sad that people fail to remember what they did when they were 23 years old and drunk downtown.

  31. sarah l says:

    casey lechter is a good guy and an even better marine,if he did this its for a reason,show respect for someone who has risked his life for the general public time and time again.

  32. cybil says:

    The truth will come out soon enough. The only POLICE OFFICER who was assualted is the police officer whose name is being abused through out the media. Wait for the WHOLE story because it’s coming.

  33. correct says:

    I used to feel bad when I heard a cop got killed in the line of duty…now, I could care less. With all the videos of police abuse/corruption I now tend to think they deserved it. Sorry to all of you with cops in your families but this is how I feel. The days of “Protecting and Serving” and a cop being your friend are long gone…the only thing they “Protect and Serve” are their own agendas…which dont seem to be for the good of the people.

  34. Get it right says:

    Vince Catalano
    I ‘m a former Marine that served in Viet Nam so I know first hand what its like to be come home to an ungrateful nation. I thought that over the years we as a nation would hopefully change the way that we treat our returning Veterans but after seeing the railroad job that was done on Casey Lechter maybe I was wrong. I’m not saying that Casey deserves special treatment because he’s a Veteran, all I’m saying is that if you listened to all of the evidence like I did there is no way that he could have been found guilty of this so called crime. He had a few drinks and may or may not have made a comment that irritated one of Baltimore’s so called “finest” but for this young man to loose his job and be put on trail is a travesty. He and others have laid their lives on the line and some have made the ultimate Sacrifice for all of us so that we can live free in the greatest nation on the planet and this is how we treat them when they come home. For almost 2 years Casey and his fellow Marines experienced things in both Afganistan and Iraq that most people can’t even imagine. So I guess what I’m saying is that in roughly 45 years we still have not learned as a nation how to show our thanks to our service men and women who put themselves in harms way. When Veterans Day comes around instead of honoring our Veterans we look at it as a way to take advantage of a sale at the local mall.

    So to those of you who have nothing better to do with your lives than to sit at their computer and write negative comments about someone that you don’t even know I have but one thing to say. The next time you hear our National Anthem and it gets to the part that says ” the land of the Free and the home of the Brave”, think of Casey and his fellow Marines and sevice members who served because it is because of their Bravery that you allowed to live and be Free.

    Casey to you I say, “Semper Fi” and remember. The Jury and the verdict that they rendered do not and can not define who you are as a person, only you can do that. In the long run this experince, as bad as it may have been will make you a stronger person.

    If there are any former or current military personel out their who want to show your support for Casey, his sentencing is this Friday January 6, 2012 at 9 am at the Baltimore Courthouse Second Floor Courtroom # 236. Casey will be in Dress Blues.

    Former Staff Sgt. Vincent E. Catalano

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