- Associated Press - Sunday, October 17, 2010

BALTIMORE (AP) — An off-duty Baltimore police detective out celebrating his birthday was killed by a blow to the head with a rock or piece of concrete during a fight over a parking space, and investigators on Sunday were questioning two suspects, authorities said.

Fellow officers, meanwhile, were at the side of grieving family members overnight at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, where emergency crews had taken Detective Brian Stevenson, an 18-year veteran with the department, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.

Detective Stevenson, who would have turned 38 on Sunday, was celebrating his birthday with a friend Saturday night when he started fighting over a parking space. The dispute escalated.

Then, Mr. Guglielmi said, “A suspect pulled a rock or large piece of concrete from the ground and struck the officer with it.”

Mr. Guglielmi said he did not know whether the object was thrown at Detective Stevenson or how the detective was struck. However, Detective Stevenson sustained head trauma and died later that night at the hospital.

The suspects were described only as a man and a woman. Police said earlier Sunday that they hoped to make an arrest soon.

“Once they struck the officer, they fled,” the spokesman said.

Mr. Guglielmi said the attack happened in a safe part of town. He said he lacked the words “to describe how heinous this act of violence is for something as truly petty as a parking space.”

Detective Stevenson, who was married and had children, was assigned to a detective unit that investigates crimes such as shootings, assaults and robberies, Mr. Guglielmi said.

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