Case of man who drove over woman in Fells Point goes to jury

Baltimore Sun - - AROUND THE REGION - By Justin Fen­ton jfen­ton@balt­sun.com

A 39-year-old man who ran his ve­hi­cle over a woman on a Fells Point side­walk in Fe­bru­ary told ju­rors that he was fran­ti­cally try­ing to flee a fight and get to safety.

Ju­rors be­gan de­lib­er­at­ing Mon­day in the trial of Or­lando Redd, who is charged with sec­ond-de­gree as­sault, ma­li­cious de­struc­tion of prop­erty and traf­fic charges.

A by­stander’s live-streamed video and sur­veil­lance video from a bar show Redd twice ram­ming a ve­hi­cle in front of him, then re­vers­ing onto a side­walk as two men hang from his ve­hi­cle.

Jil­lian Vac­caro was on the side­walk when she was run over; Redd’s ve­hi­cle filled the street with smoke.

Pros­e­cu­tors say Redd ini­ti­ated and es­ca­lated a se­ries of con­fronta­tions that pre­ceded the crash. As­sis­tant State’s At­tor­ney Jen­nifer Brady told ju­rors in clos­ing ar­gu­ments that she be­lieved Redd in­ten­tion­ally rammed the ve­hi­cle and put the car in re­verse, try­ing to cause “max­i­mum dam­age.”

“Don’t get it twisted — this wasn’t an ac­ci­dent,” Brady said Mon­day morn­ing. “He was in con­trol the en­tire time, from be­gin­ning to end.”

Redd’s defense at­tor­ney, Bran­don Mead, said it was clear from the video that Redd was un­der at­tack and try­ing to flee, and that the crash was an ac­ci­dent and not an as­sault.

He said one of the men had yelled “Get the gun!”

“What other choice did Mr. Redd have?” Mead asked.

Judge Brooke M. Mur­dock dis­missed a first-de­gree as­sault charge against Redd last week.

Ju­rors were de­lib­er­at­ing charges of sec­ond-de­gree as­sault for strik­ing Vac­caro, and first- and sec­ond-de­gree as­sault charges in­volv­ing a sec­ond man whom Redd al­legedly punched and threw from his ve­hi­cle. Redd has been held in jail since Fe­bru­ary. Vac­caro shook in the court­room as Brady told ju­rors about the in­ci­dent out­side the Dog­watch bar.

Vac­caro suf­fered a bro­ken pelvis, sev­eral bro­ken ribs and other in­juries that have re­quired months of re­hab, an or­deal she out­lined for ju­rors.

Redd also took the stand, telling his ver­sion of the events.

He said he was in his car try­ing to leave the area when a ve­hi­cle whose driver was hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion with some­one on the street blocked the road. Redd hit his horn, and one of the men in­volved in the con­ver­sa­tion came up to Redd’s ve­hi­cle.

Redd con­ceded that he shouldn’t have got­ten out of his ve­hi­cle to con­front the man. Video cap­tured Redd shov­ing the man, then punch­ing him re­peat­edly un­til a bouncer from a nearby bar in­ter­vened.

Redd went to leave, but saw one of his friends be­ing at­tacked. He “suck­er­punched” a man, Brady said, and again went to leave. But men in­volved in the melee ran to his car, pound­ing on his win­dow and reach­ing in­side.

“When the van went into re­verse, I was try­ing to get to safety,” Redd tes­ti­fied.

Mead noted that Redd was stopped by an of­fi­cer just two blocks away and was calm and com­pli­ant.

Brady, the pros­e­cu­tor, said Redd cre­ated the sit­u­a­tion by not driv­ing home when he had the chance.

“He knew when he put him­self in this sit­u­a­tion that some­thing like this could’ve oc­curred,” Brady said. She called him a “clas­sic Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde: He can con­trol him­self when he wants to, but when some­one dis­re­spects him, he is out of con­trol.”

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