Friday, June 05, 2020

Anthony Brennan III arrested, alleged cyclist in Bethesda trail assault over Black Lives Matter flyers

Anthony Brennan III, 60, of Kensington was arrested by Maryland National Capital Park Police tonight, in the Bethesda trail assault of three people posting Black Lives Matter flyers near the Dalecarlia Tunnel on June 1 around 12:45 PM. Brennan is accused of being the angry cyclist who assaulted one male and two female "young adults," as the Park Police described them - though the video showed the two females were clearly minor children, which is what added fuel to the outrage over the case. 

In a press release, the Park Police said Brennan turned himself in, but only after the police had executed a search warrant at his home and communicated with his attorney. The search for a suspect took a remarkably long time in the Twitter age. Suspects in photos are typically identified, shamed and fired from their jobs within hours at the hands of Twitter "police" these days. That Brennan eluded scrutiny for four days is intriguing.

The long investigation ended up causing major trouble for several people who were falsely accused by armchair detectives on Twitter. A Bethesda man and a retired Montgomery County police officer were among those doxxed and denounced online, while a college professor found her address being posted on social media. None of the three had anything to do with the Capital Crescent Trail incident whatsoever. The delay in identifying a suspect into late Friday night led some to speculate on social media that the alleged assailant might be a police officer, or someone with some pull or power in Montgomery County or the region. 

Brennan has been charged with three counts of second-degree assault.

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