TOWSON, Md. - An incident over the weekend between police in Baltimore County and a college student from Chevy Chase, Maryland has launched a use of force charge against police.
Videos of the arrest posted onto YouTube and Facebook by bystanders show a black college student punched in the face repeatedly by Baltimore County police officers. Now, police are now investigating the incident.
The arrest happened outside a bar in Towson at around 2 a.m. Saturday. Zachary Blumenstein is seen pushing away from the officers who are trying to control him. It takes three police officers to get him to the ground, but he is still fighting back. While this is going on, a crowd is yelling at the police.
The video shows an officer putting his knee on Blumenstein’s head. The controversial part of the arrest is an officer punching Blumenstein repeatedly in the head with a closed fist. However, it appears Blumenstein continues to resist police.
According to Baltimore County police, earlier in the night, they told Blumenstein to leave the area after another altercation.
“The first time, he was simply told you've got to move along,” said Elise Armacost, spokesperson for the Baltimore County Police Department.
Police said they saw Blumenstein push a man into the road. That is when they told him he was under arrest. They also tried to use pepper spray to control him, but it did not work.
“He was combative from the moment the officer first interacted with him,” said Armacost.
Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson said he will review the entire incident to determine if it was an appropriate use of force.
“The point where Chief Johnson becomes concerned is the point that the closed fist is used to strike the head,” Armacost said.
The 19-year-old Blumenstein plays lacrosse at Dickinson College. We went to his parent’s home on Monday, but no one answered the door.
After this encounter ended, Blumenstein was arrested and charged with five crimes, including disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.