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Police Reviewing Arrest of West Point Cadet Before Army-Navy Game

Army football players sing their alma mater after beating Navy for the first time in 15 years. (Military.com/Michael Hoffman)
Army football players sing their alma mater after beating Navy for the first time in 15 years. (Military.com/Michael Hoffman)

Baltimore police are reviewing the weekend arrest of an 18-year-old West Point cadet who was struck in the face by a detective after she allegedly assaulted him.

Natasha Chick, a second-year student at the United States Military Academy, was in Baltimore to attend the Army-Navy football game at M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday and had gone to a party in the 3100 block of St. Paul St. on Friday night, she said in an interview. While she said there was alcohol at the party, she doesn't remember if she drank. Chick said she hit her head at some point before the police arrived and doesn't remember much else.

T.J. Smith, a police spokesman, said Chick "appeared to be under the influence of alcohol" and, unprovoked, assaulted Detective Aaron Cain by "kicking him in the chest" after he had responded to the location.

Smith said Cain used his hand to subdue Chick, not a weapon, and that the entire incident -- including the use of force -- is under review. Smith said the incident was captured by Cain's body camera, but he would not release the video.

Chick, a 5-foot-3, 105-pound second-degree black belt in tae kwon do from Texas, has been charged with second-degree assault of a police officer.

According to Cain's written account of the incident in court records, he responded to an apartment building on the block for a report of a "suicidal person who was attempting to jump from the 4th floor catwalk in the rear." When he arrived, he was told to go inside the building to the third floor instead, where he found Chick in the hallway "highly intoxicated and being aggressive with some of her associates kicking and screaming," Cain wrote.

Cain intervened between Chick and her friends to find out what the problem was, and found Chick "was mumbling and rambling about people hurting her and wanting to harm/kill herself," he wrote.

Chick then "walked towards me stumbling in an intoxicated state and kicked me in the chest," Cain wrote. "At this time I was defending myself from an attempted second kick, I struck Ms. Chick in the chin with my left hand to create distance from a further attack."

After he struck her, Chick "fell on the floor and sustained a minor injury to the lip," Cain wrote. A medic was called, and Chick was transported to Bon Secours Hospital, he wrote.

Cain wrote that he was not injured in the incident. He also noted that the incident was captured on his body camera.

Chick said she doesn't remember much, but has been told by her boyfriend and other friends that she was acting normally at the party until she hit her head -- then started "acting weird" and "freaking out."

Chick said she didn't realize she was being arrested, or that police were on the scene, until she was on the ground after being punched.

After leaving the hospital, Chick said, she awoke hours later to messages on her phone about the arrest from her supervisors from West Point, who picked her up from where she was staying and took her to turn herself in on a warrant related to the incident. She was later released on her own recognizance.

Afterward, Chick attended the Army-Navy football game along with the rest of the Army Corps of Cadets, she said. Army beat Navy, 21-17, ending Navy's 14-year winning streak during a game attended by President-elect Donald Trump.

Chick said Tuesday that she would like to see the body-camera footage and talk to the detective about what happened.

She said wounds on the back of her head and on her lip -- where she has stitches -- still hurt, as do bruises on her jaw, but she's getting better. She's also preparing for finals.

"I just wish things happened differently," she said. "When people told me what happened, it scared me. ... If I knew what was going on, I don't think I would have been violent."

She said she doesn't yet know what her arrest will mean for her future at West Point, which maintains strict standards for cadet conduct.

Chick's father, Kenneth Chick, who is retired from the Army, said he also wants to see the body-camera footage to help him understand what happened.

He said he wants to know why a male officer felt he needed to strike a small female cadet "square in the face, in the jaw, with a full-fledged punch."

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