Assault Charges Against WC Student Dropped

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.

The Chesterton Spy

By Daniel Menefee

September 4, 2013

See the full story at: Assault Charges Against WC Student Dropped