BALTIMORE, Md. - The same week that Baltimore’s top cop addressed one of the biggest concerns in the city, the availability of handguns on the streets, yet another weapon has fallen into the wrong hands, and this one was owned by one of Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld’s top commanders.
A burglary at the Arcos Mexican Restaurant on South Broadway triggered the investigation.
"There was a gun in that office tucked away in closet, which was in a box. The suspect stole that gun and through the investigation, we learned that the firearm was registered to a Baltimore police commander, Major Anthony Brown," said Police Spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
How the major’s gun ended up in the hands of business owner Nicolas Ramos lies at the heart of the probe.
Ramos’ wife refused to go on camera, but told us that robbers have struck the restaurant twice in recent years, so the gun was simply a means of protection.
But police say there’s no record of the gun’s sale, and Major Brown never reported it stolen.
"Actions speak louder than words at the Baltimore Police Department,” said Guglielmi, “Until we figure out the facts of the incident, we administratively suspended the major, and it is by no means a finding of guilt. It's how we handle personnel issues when you're at senior levels of command in the agency."
The business owner’s wife says they weren’t trying to hide anything.
In fact, she says, they reported the burglary and the missing 38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver to police upset that another handgun had just fallen into the wrong hands.
Major Brown has served with the department for 28 years and heads up the Special Operations section, which includes Foxtrot, SWAT teams and hostage negotiations.