Baltimore Board of Estimates to vote on $110K settlement for false arrest

Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer//September 18, 2017

Baltimore Board of Estimates to vote on $110K settlement for false arrest

By Heather Cobun

//Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer

//September 18, 2017

The Baltimore City Board of Estimates is scheduled to approve a $110,000 settlement Wednesday with two people who flagged down police to assist them with a road rage incident only to end up arrested and charged themselves.

Ivan Pratt Sr. and Carlynn Smith were driving on Hanover Street in September 2013 when another vehicle blocked them from changing lanes then followed them, threw things and threatened them, according to a memorandum about the settlement prepared for the city spending panel.

Believing they were victims of a racially-charged road rage incident, the plaintiffs spotted a Baltimore Police Department vehicle and pulled into a gas station, according to the memo. The officers did not see the plaintiffs but saw the other vehicle and pulled it over to question the occupants, the memo states.

Pratt and Smith walked toward the officers to talk with them, at which point the occupants of both cars began yelling at each other and the officers called for backup, the memo states. The occupants of the other vehicle told police the plaintiffs started the incident and while the plaintiffs attempted to describe what happened, they were arrested, the memo states.

Pratt, Smith and Pratt’s brother, who is not involved in the lawsuit, were arrested and the car was towed, according to the memo. Pratt, who spent five days in jail, was passed over for a promotion at work because of pending assault charges and Smith had to be hospitalized after being arrested because she is diabetic and experienced a dangerous rise in blood sugar.

Pratt and Smith filed suit in Baltimore City Circuit Court last year seeking damages for false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, negligence, improper supervision, negligent hiring, invasion of privacy, battery and violations of the Maryland Declaration of Rights. A trial had been scheduled for last month, according to online court records.

The plaintiffs are represented by Emanuel M. Levin and Sharon L. Rhodes of the Law Offices of Emanuel M. Levin & Associates P.A. in Baltimore and the solo practitioner Timothy M. Dixon. Levin did not respond to a request for comment Monday.

The case is Ivan Pratt Sr. et al. v. Officer Alejandro Pena et al., 24C16002742.

The board will also consider a $150,000 settlement with a woman who tripped and fell on the sidewalk on Keystone Avenue in 2015. Shiquetta Wilson broke her left ankle and sprained her right ankle and her medical bills totaled nearly $50,000.

Wilson is represented by the Costello Law Group in Towson. Attorney Matthew Holley declined to comment Monday.

The case is Shiquetta Wilson v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, 24C160006387.


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