Capital Crescent Trail viral bike assault trial advances

Prosecutors in Maryland’s Montgomery County have filed a criminal information complaint against the Maryland man charged with assaulting three teenagers after a viral video showed him grabbing a protest flyer from one of the teens, WTOP has learned.

Anthony Brennan III, of Kensington, Maryland, was seen on a widely-circulated video of the June 1 assault on the Capital Crescent Trail, allegedly grabbing flyers and a roll of blue painters’ tape from the arm of a 19-year-old woman, taunting the trio, and eventually charging his bicycle at an 18-year-old man, knocking him down as he videotaped the assault.

As WTOP first reported, Brennan was on his way to see a priest and a lawyer when he first learned police had identified him as the suspect in the viral video assault of the teens who were posting flyers protesting the death of George Floyd — a Black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis, sparking protests nationwide.

In an immediate apology, released through his lawyers, Brennan said, “I am sick with remorse for the pain and fear I caused the victims on the trail, and online.”

The filing of the criminal information complaint in Montgomery County Circuit Court, rather than presenting the case to a grand jury for indictment, generally indicates a suspect’s attorneys are working with prosecutors to resolve a case without trial.

The charges in Circuit Court are identical to the ones originally filed in District Court — three counts of misdemeanor second-degree assault, with each count carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years behind bars for a conviction.

By moving the case to the higher court, prosecutors would be able to impanel a jury of county residents to determine the verdict, rather than have a judge in District Court decide the case.

However, when prosecutors file a criminal information complaint, it often means both sides are working toward a plea deal.

Brennan’s attorneys Andrew Jezic and David Moyse had told WTOP they were hopeful to reach a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Initial charging documents show police recovered Brennan’s sunglasses, cycling shoes, blue bandanna, water bottle and shorts that were seen in a video. He led police to “a bag hidden under the front porch containing the bike helmet,” and as well as his bicycle, which was locked about four blocks away, behind his former office building.

Through his lawyers, shortly after his arrest, Brennan said he was “committed to making amends by addressing, through counseling, the underlying issues that led to my abhorrent behavior.”

“I am dedicated to working with the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office to provide peace to our community and justice to the victims in the video, as well as to all victims of racism and police brutality,” Brennan said, in the June 6 statement.

Defense attorneys and a spokesman for Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy were not immediately available for comment.

Brennan’s first appearance in circuit court is scheduled for Sept. 18.

 

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