Officers’ use of force probed after robbers hit pub hosting cop’s retirement party

Two men accused of robbing a Maryland pub got more than they bargained for when they stumbled upon a police sergeant’s retirement party in progress, and authorities are now reviewing three off-duty officers’ use of force in arresting them.

A group of Baltimore County police officers were inside Monaghan's Pub, located across the street from a police precinct in Woodlawn, celebrating a colleague's retirement Tuesday night, when two masked and armed men walked in, according to the Baltimore Sun. The men went to the carryout counter, demanded money from the cash register and fled.

WBAL-TV reported that there were dozens of off-duty officers in the pub for the party.

"At that time, the person who had been behind the counter knew that there was a retirement party for a police officer happening, so they went into the other portion (of the pub) and alerted the officers to the fact that they had just been involved in an armed robbery," Officer Jennifer Peach, a Baltimore County Police Department spokeswoman, told the news station.

Three of the partygoers ran after the alleged suspects, arresting the men nearby. The Sun reported that Tyree Malik McCoy, 22, and Joseph McInnis III, 21, are both charged with armed robbery and theft, as well as other related charges.

Both remained in the Baltimore County Detention Center on Friday afternoon.

The Sun reported that the department is investigating the use of force involved in the arrest. McCoy's booking photo showed a bandage over one eye, which was swollen shut following his arrest.

Both eyes appeared to be blackened and he had multiple injuries to his forehead and an apparent bloody nose.

McInnis had a visible cut and some apparent abrasions to his face.

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A police incident report said that the men continued to run after the off-duty officers yelled for them to stop and identified themselves as police officers, the Sun reported. Officers said that McInnis appeared to lift his gun up, prompting the officers to tackle both men.

The report said one officer "began to deliver a series of punches to the face and head of McCoy with his closed fist" because they feared he had a gun in his waistband, the Sun reported.

It was unclear if McCoy was armed during the alleged robbery. The police report indicated that the gun McInnis carried was a pellet gun, the newspaper said.

One of the three police officers in question was carrying a gun at the time of the arrest, the police report said.

Police officials said the use-of-force investigation is administrative in nature. A similar probe is initiated any time an officer uses force in the line of duty.

The Sun reported that the robbery was caught on surveillance footage from the pub.

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