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Commissioner Batts Punches Armed Man, Holds Gun To His Head In Chaotic Arrest

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Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She was...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A chaotic scene unfolds in East Baltimore when the top cop lands in the middle of a struggle with an armed suspect. Before it’s all over, Baltimore City Police Commissioner Anthony Batts punches the man in the face and holds a gun to his head.

Christie Ileto has the details.

It was a melee on a Baltimore city street. Charging documents obtained by WJZ reveal a struggle between city police and armed man–Alante Moultrie– ends with him being punched in the face by the police commissioner.

Commissioner Batts and three detectives had just left the scene of an officer-involved shooting nearby.

Charging documents say it was on the 2300-block of East Monument Street where detectives approached six men standing outside a deli– one of them being Moultrie.

Documents show one of the detectives “observed a bulge in [Moultrie's] front left waistband.”

After patting the 20-year-old down, the detective felt a gun and alerted other officers nearby.

Moultrie refused to give up the gun, prompting a struggle with police.

Detectives write Baltimore’s top cop then “pulled his service weapon out and placed it against Moultrie’s head.”

Police say Moultrie still wouldn’t release the gun.

That’s when “Batts attempts to pull (it) from his hand,” and then “hits Moultrie with a closed fist to the face,” according to charging documents.

Moultrie’s aunt, who didn’t want her face shown on TV, says her nephew tells her he didn’t know the men were police.

“He said someone came up to him and just grabbed him,” she said. “I know he was armed, but once they had him restrained, what was the point of having the commissioner put a gun to his head?”

While the commissioner isn’t commenting, police did Tweet a picture, saying, “Batts makes an arrest and takes another illegal gun off the streets.”

In addition to the weapons, police also found four plastic bags of white powder.

It’s not the first time Commissioner Batts has been active in an arrest. He has taken part in raids and suspected gang busts in the past.

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