Assault Charges Against WC Student Dropped

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The state’s case against Anthony Martino, a Washington College senior involved in a fight with an off-duty state trooper, has been dropped.

Martino’s attorney, Kenneth Ravenell, confirmed that the state dropped all three charges against his client Thursday, Aug. 29th, but he said he was legally bound not to discuss the case.

The fight occurred at Washington’s Tavern on March 22 when Martino was just seven weeks away from graduating.

Witnesses told the Spy in April that the off-duty trooper, Daniel T. Baxter, had an aggressive demeanor that night and began a shoving match after Martino made a comment to his girlfriend. Witnesses said that Baxter repeatedly punched Martino before Martino landed a lucky punch moments later that sent Baxter to the hospital.

Witnesses also said that Martino did not throw the first punch —  as reported in the original statement of charges filed by the Chestertown Police Department.

CPD later confirmed that Martino threw only one punch in the fight.

The Spy has learned that Baxter’s blood-alcohol level tested at almost twice the legal limit for DUI in Maryland. It was not determined whether Baxter was driving that night.

As a result of the original charges, Martino was not allowed on campus to complete a Calculus requirement and was also denied the opportunity to graduate on stage with his classmates.

State Prosecutor Steven I. Kroll would not return calls on Wednesday regarding the circumstances that led to the dismissal of charges against Martino.

The Maryland State Police said no disciplinary action against Baxter was warranted under the circumstances.

Sgt. Marc Black, a spokesman for the state police, said that statements from witnesses and the results of an investigation by the Chestertown Police Department “deemed that there was no inappropriate actions by [Baxter].”

Martino told the Spy that the ordeal has been traumatic but he looks forward to putting the experience behind him. He said he finished his Calculus requirement at a local community college near his home in Media, Pennsylvania and hopes to graduate on stage this coming spring at WC.

Washington College would not comment on this story.

Letters to Editor

  1. Brian DiStefano says:

    Common sense prevails. It is disappointing Maryland State Police let it get this far. I wish they cared as much about cleaning their own house as putting the screws to Anthony Martino.

  2. Chester Riviera says:

    The Law’s above the Law…

  3. Jim Mullen says:

    As a Washington College graduate of 50 years, I was glad to hear that the case was dropped and both young men can move forward with their lives and careers. As human beings, we sometimes err in judgement but these errors ,if not a pattern , should not define us. Best wishes to both young men.

  4. joe diamond says:

    So the cops tracked the college student out of state, arrested him, charged him with a crime, forced him to incur the costs of a legal defense and a bondsman and continued to prosecute this case …..all on the word of one drunken brother cop? Then, after the student experienced missing graduation with his class….or even returning to his school, evil suspect that he was, the issue is best forgotten?

    Am I missing anything?

    Joe

  5. Ron Moore1 says:

    As a former insurance broker, I would’ve told the State to show up at his dorm with a new Corvette, apologize profusely, and pray that he doesn’t bankrupt the State with a lawsuit. Considering this kind of public problem has undoubtedly permanently effected his employment prospects, particularly in the legal field, I would figure the damages could be hefty.

    Not to mention the lawyer he picked up. Good god.

  6. Stuart Cawley says:

    Editor,

    So Baxter “tested at almost twice the legal limit for DUI in Maryland,” began both the shoving & punching in this altercation, & apparently lied to the CPD about the events, yet “the Maryland State Police said no disciplinary action against Baxter was warranted under the circumstances?”

    What circumstances would, I wonder: merely pulling & firing his service weapon or only if he inflicted a fatal injury & it wasn’t his first time? Huge PR win for the MD Police State, oops, I mean MD State Police, as we citizens all sleep a bit safer tonight, knowing that officers are held to the same standards as we civilians are.

  7. Lee Urbani says:

    Editor,

    Shame on the State Police for not at least disciplining the officer, who should have been trained to remain calm in that situation, too drunk; I guess? Shame on Washington College for finding the student guilty before any due process took place, great teaching moment; I guess? And shame on the State of Maryland for even pursuing the case, another example of our tax dollars being well spent; I guess? No one pays except the kid! Unfortunately, the best news is the “One Punch” part of the story; how bad is that?

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