By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun
7:01 AM EDT, July 12, 2013
After a drawn-out argument with her adult son early on the morning of June 17, Robin Blackmon called Baltimore County police from her Catonsville home and told a dispatcher that her son was out of control, according to police and court records.
Blackmon, a sergeant in the Baltimore Police Department, told the dispatcher she had a gun, county police say. Her son, Andrew Bratcher, was heard in the background by a dispatcher saying his mother had "pulled a gun out on him," according to records.
Why the alleged standoff occurred remains unclear, but the results are that Blackmon has been suspended from her job and now faces charges of first-degree assault and driving under the influence of alcohol.
About two hours after the initial call, police say, Blackmon was pulled over on a residential street not far from her home by county officers who were looking for her vehicle. She stepped out of her silver Toyota 4Runner with her hands up.
An officer reported she had "blood shot eyes and the odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from her person," according to a Baltimore County police report. She failed two field sobriety tests and was arrested, according to the report and court records filed in the case.
Nearly four hours after that, Blackmon, 44, failed a Breathalyzer test as well, recording a lingering blood-alcohol content of 0.084 percent, which is above the legal limit for driving, according to the report.
After police interviewed Bratcher, two of his friends who were also in the home at the time and one of Blackmon's cousins, they also charged Blackmon with first-degree assault, for allegedly pointing her city police service weapon at her son during their argument.
Neither Blackmon nor Bratcher, 20, could be reached for comment. Blackmon did not return a message left at her home. On a recent afternoon, Blackmon's 4Runner was parked outside the family's blue townhouse, but no one answered a knock at the door.
Blackmon's attorney, Shaun Owens, declined to comment.
Sgt. Eric Kowalczyk, a Baltimore police spokesman, said Blackmon has been suspended without pay, and her service weapon — which county police said was in her purse on the passenger seat of her car when she was pulled over — has been reclaimed by the city department.
Blackmon was released on $50,000 bail, according to court records.
Blackmon joined the Police Department in 1988 and was most recently earning more than $80,000 a year as a sergeant in West Baltimore's neighborhood services unit.
According to the police report, Bratcher told officers he arrived at the family home in the first block of Walden Mill Way about 3:30 a.m., after attending Baltimore Pride events for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Baltimore.
He told officers he found his mother "had been drinking and was awake when he arrived home." He said they began arguing immediately.
"The basis of the argument is in dispute," said Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger.
About 6:20 a.m., Bratcher said, he calmed down and approached his mother again to talk when she "pointed a black holstered handgun at his head" and threatened to kill him, according to records.
Blackmon denied to police that she pulled her gun on her son. She told officers she argued with him about his giving his house key to two friends and allowing them to stay there while he was supposed to be at work at a nearby Applebee's restaurant.
Blackmon said she became upset when Bratcher didn't return home after the restaurant closed, according to the police report. She told police she went to look for him about 3 a.m. with her service weapon in her purse, according to the report. The argument began when he returned about 3:30 a.m.
Blackmon called county police about 6:40 a.m. and "put the phone on speaker so the call taker could hear her son screaming in the background," according to the report. When she heard him say she had pulled her gun on him, the report says, she decided to leave the house to "avoid the situation escalating."
A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for July 19.
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