The Board of Estimates is set today to pay $75,000 to the mother of a 16-year-old boy who suffered “substantial injuries which required surgery” after an encounter with a Baltimore police officer two years ago.
Kia Bacote, mother of the juvenile (who is not named in the settlement), filed suit in Baltimore Circuit Court against Officer Valentine Nagovich for assault, battery, intentional affliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment.
According to the city’s statement of facts, the 16-year-old was walking down the 500 block of Orchard Street – “a well-known and documented open-air drug market” near State Center – about noon on March 3, 2011, when he was “quickly approached” by several individuals who did not identify themselves.
The juvenile ran west toward Pennsylvania Avenue, where he was stopped by uniformed officers who ordered him to put up his hands.
One of the men in pursuit was Officer Nagovich who, believing the boy “was attempting to assault him,” stuck him in the face, causing injuries that later required surgery. No drugs were found on the juvenile.
Because of conflicting accounts and “legal concerns” about “whether the officer acted reasonably under the circumstances,” the city law department recommended settlement of the case before it went to trial.
The Board of Estimates is scheduled to approve the settlement at its meeting this morning.
Nagovich was previously involved in a case involving a “flex squad” in the Southwestern Police District. He was accused of aiding and abetting a police officer accused (and later acquitted) of rape in 2005, and of failing to hand over drugs to evidence control.
Nagovich fought the administrative charges and was cleared in 2009, according to a published report.