Ex-Raven busted by city cop found dead on eve of trial
Ex-Baltimore Ravens linebacker Tony Fein's (left, in a picture by the Baltimore Sun's Amy Davis) trial had been scheduled for this morning on charges that he assaulted a Baltimore police officer over the summer at the Inner Harbor in a case that sparked a debate over racial profiling.
Fein, 27, died Tuesday morning in Port Orchard, Wash., his agent told The Baltimore Sun's Jamison Hensley. We still don't know details of how Fein, who was cut by the team before the start of the season, died. Fein was an Iraqi war veteran had been a linebacker.
He was with other players at a food stand when a security guard thought she saw someone in his group hand him a gun. The guard notified city police and Sgt. Joseph Donato, who is white, twice asked the black player to stand up and said in a report (read the report here) that the player refused. In the report, the officer said the player turned around and reached for silverware, and that's when the sergeant grabbed Fein by the sweat shirt, forced him to the ground and handcuffed the 6 foot 2, 245 pound linebacker.
Fein's agent said the player did not know at first the man behind him was a police officer and denied disobeying his orders. The arrest came shortly after a gang-related shooting in the same Light Street pavilion and other violence at the Harbor that scared tourists and visitors and prompted extra police and warnings from the mayor that cops would crack down on suspicious people.
Fein never publicly commented on his arrest, so we were awaiting his trial to hear his side of the story. His agent claimed Fein was a victim of racial profiling. We'll check later today with Fein's attorney to see if he got statements from other players who were there at the time.