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