- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 25, 2009

BALTIMORE (AP) | The arrest of Baltimore Ravens rookie and Iraq war veteran Tony Fein at a restaurant in the Inner Harbor tourist district was the result of police profiling, the linebacker’s agent said Monday.

Fein was charged Sunday with the misdemeanor assault of an officer who confronted him after a security guard thought he saw Fein pass a handgun to a friend at a Harborplace restaurant counter, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. The item was a cell phone.

“Tony’s never owned a weapon in his life,” agent Milton Dee Hobbs said. “That weapon was a cell phone.”

Hobbs said police approached Fein because he was a black man wearing a sweatsuit with a hood. Guglielmi disputed the claim of racial profiling.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re black, white, green or blue; if you push an officer, you’re going to get arrested,” Guglielmi said. “He can take concerns up with the judge.”

Baltimore police recently stepped up security at the Inner Harbor, a major tourism draw for the city, after a shooting at the same building a week earlier. When police questioned Fein, 27, he became belligerent and shoved the officer, Guglielmi said.

According to a police report, Sgt. Joseph Donato loudly told Fein: “Stand up, turn around and keep your hands where I can see them.” Fein reacted by pushing Donato with one hand while turning around from the restaurant counter, police said.

Donato was knocked to the ground and hurt his right elbow, the report said. Donato grabbed Fein by his “F Troop, 9th Cavalry, Ft. Hood, Texas” sweatshirt and forced him to the ground. He and other officers handcuffed him, the report stated. Fein was not injured, police said.

The police report noted the officer was concerned about “a recent shooting at this pavilion” and that Fein’s sweatshirt “did not seem weather-appropriate.”

Hobbs said the officer was the aggressor and that Fein didn’t shove him.

“Tony’s a good kid,” Hobbs said. “He’s not going to disrespect an officer.”

Hobbs said Fein has not been arrested before, and Maryland’s courts database does not have any record of previous arrests or charges against him. The police department’s internal affairs unit does not have any sustained complaints against Donato on file, Guglielmi said.

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