RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Prosecutors dropped an assault charge against a Richmond police detective Monday.
Charles Battle was supposed to go on trial this morning, for an incident at a club while he was off duty. Before that trial ever got off the ground, prosecutors asked the judge to dismiss the case.
Richmond Detective Charles Battle and Officer Donnell Patterson were off duty, and working security at Club 534 on North Harrison St. last summer.
On July 26, an 18-year-old accused the men of throwing him to the ground and beating him outside the club.
One attorney called it a chaotic crowd control situation. A grand jury indicted the pair on misdemeanor assault and battery. A special judge and prosecutor were brought in to handle the case.
Monday morning, vindication came early for Charles Battle. A judge dismissed the charge against the 15-year police veteran.
Battle's attorney had said in the past, the incident was poorly investigated and the charge was based on bad evidence.
Special Prosecutor Frank Laruffa would not reveal why the charge was dropped, he says because of the upcoming trial against Donnell Patterson.
NBC12 legal analyst Steven Benjamin has no inside knowledge on this case, but offers insight into why a prosecutor might drop charges.
"I would say the prosecutors took a look at the relative culpability of the two officers and concluded that the case against the officer today was at best ambiguous," Benjamin said.
Prosecutors are going forward with their misdemeanor assault and battery case against Officer Donnell Patterson. A jury trial is scheduled for next week.