After Marine veteran Lloyd Muldrow stopped an attack by an armed assailant at a Baltimore bar, police officers thanked him — and then they arrested him.
Now the Good Samaritan credited with saving a man’s life faces up to a year in prison, charged with violating a city ordinance that forbids bringing handguns within 100 feet of a public building, even though he neutralized the attack without drawing his pistol.
Mr. Muldrow, a North Carolina security specialist, holds a concealed weapons permit, but it was issued in Virginia, not Maryland. Even so, he has no intention of accepting a plea deal when he appears at his Oct. 31 hearing in Baltimore Circuit Court.
“I’m not going to settle with probation or anything like that. I don’t think it’s fair,” he told The Washington Times. “I’ve carried overseas in different countries, and you’re telling me I can’t carry my weapon from one state to another? I’ve trained more than the average police officer, and I can’t carry from Virginia to Maryland? I have a real big problem with that.”
His attorney, Michael Stark of Maryland’s Stark Defense, said that the “good guy with the gun was placed under arrest for having a gun.”
“Lloyd Muldrow is an accomplished Marine, a self-defense instructor and a church-going mentor to young people,” Mr. Stark said in a statement. “Now, because of Maryland’s outdated, and possibly unconstitutional gun laws, he faces jail as if he were every bit as criminally-minded as [the assailant], rather than the selfless hero for his country and his friends that he proved himself to be.”
Mr. Muldrow, 57, had just arrived at a July 4 gathering of family and friends at Tequila Sunset in Baltimore when another patron, Wesley Henderson, became upset after seeing his ex-girlfriend dancing with Marshall Cullens, according to the Baltimore state’s attorney charging document.
Mr. Henderson allegedly shoved Mr. Cullens and then brandished a handgun, striking him in the head. He also shouted threats like “I’ll kill everyone,” Mr. Muldrow said.
“When I got there, I saw him [Cullens] bleeding profusely from his head. It looked like he had a gunshot wound to his forehead,” Mr. Muldrow said. “He was bleeding so badly that I couldn’t do anything but react. I saw the guy with the pistol in his hand, and I hit the guy and knocked him down. We went to the ground, and I secured the pistol from him.”
He cited his service in the Marine Corps Security Force Regiment, during which he said he served in the presidential security detail and trained other Marines in hand-to-hand combat.
“I mean, I reacted based on my training. I spent years training Marines to defuse situations,” Mr. Muldrow said.
He and Mr. Cullens were holding the suspect on the ground when officers arrived, as shown in a police body cam video posted on a GiveSendGo crowdfunding page set up for Mr. Muldrow.
An officer asked where the gun was, and Mr. Muldrow, his light gray suit stained with blood, told him that his firearm was holstered on his hip. The officer pulled back his jacket and removed his gun, a .22 caliber Beretta M9.
The assailant’s weapon was never found, although several witnesses said that they saw Mr. Henderson wield the gun in the attack. He was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.
On the body cam footage “you hear police say it’s a pretty common occurrence in Baltimore that, by the time they get there, the gun has disappeared. And that’s what happened in this case,” said Mr. Stark.
Several officers thanked Mr. Muldrow for stopping the attack, but the supervising officer decided to charge him for the weapons violation, even though his gun was never used in the fight.
“Lloyd gets up and walks out and he‘s walking around a free man for a while, and you hear a bunch of cops lamenting the fact that their lieutenant has said, find out if that gun is legal,” Mr. Stark said. “And it sucks because the police do have discretion. They don’t have to make arrests in every single case.”
On the footage, one first responder says, “This guy probably saved somebody’s life, and he got arrested.”
Mr. Cullens says, “If you hadn’t helped me, that guy would have killed me,” although it was unclear to whom he was speaking.
“The [police] reaction was, thank you, because we didn’t have to kill nobody and we didn’t have to shoot nobody,” Mr. Muldrow said. “The officers, even when they took me to the jailhouse, it was like, please look out for this guy. This guy took care of us.”
Zy Richardson, a spokesperson for the Baltimore state’s attorney, said the office can’t discuss specifics about pending and open investigations.
Maryland is known for its strict gun laws. The state offers no reciprocity for open- or concealed-carry permits issued in other states, even though 12 states recognize permits issued by Maryland, including Virginia, according to Baltimore Firearms Training Services.
A week before the fight, however, the Supreme Court upended the landscape on concealed-carry laws with its June 23 decision in New York State Rifle v. Bruen.
In a 6-3 ruling, the court said that the Second Amendment includes the right to carry a firearm outside the home, and struck down New York’s law requiring an applicant to show a special need for a concealed-carry permit.
The decision prompted Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on July 5 to loosen the state’s concealed-carry law by directing state police to suspend the “good and substantial reason” standard for applicants.
“This [the arrest] was after Bruen,” said Mr. Stark. “Bruen says pretty clearly you have a right to carry arms in self-defense.”
If convicted on the misdemeanor charge, Mr. Muldrow could be fined up to $1,000 and sentenced to up to a year in prison. He also said he will lose his concealed-carry permit, which could jeopardize his career as a safety and training manager.
Whether a jury is willing to convict him is another question. Right now the plan is to take the case to trial.
“This was clearly the case of a dude taking heroic actions to subdue an armed assailant,” Mr. Stark said. “Because of the favorable facts here, I’ll probably put it in front of a jury and see if a jury agrees.”