3 accused in fight with off-duty BR police

At least three men are accused of beating up two off-duty Baton Rouge police officers early Sunday outside a downtown bar after a suspect allegedly touched the fiancée of one of the officers on the buttocks, police said Wednesday.

The incident was captured on video, police said.

Matthew Cheramie, 25, 3420 Rivercrest Drive, Baton Rouge, was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on Wednesday on counts of second-degree battery, according to arrest warrants.

Police also issued an arrest warrant Wednesday for Mark Hinson, 33, 4288 De Bellevue Drive, accusing him of second-degree battery, warrants show.

Hinson’s brother, James Christopher Hinson, who turned 31 on Sunday, was arrested following the fight on counts of simple battery and sexual battery, but has since posted a $25,000 bond and been released, according to warrants and Parish Prison records.

At 2 a.m. Sunday, two off-duty officers were leaving The Office, a bar at 421 Third St., when police say James Hinson inappropriately touched the fiancée of one of the officers.

Shortly after, the fight broke out, and Hinson allegedly elbowed an officer in the face, a warrant says.

Several other women who were with the police officers “tumbled down the stairs” as soon as the fight broke out, according to arrest warrants.

One woman told police that once she regained her footing, she saw an officer “standing up with his back against the wall with six to seven guys hitting him,” according to arrest warrants.

The victim said she tried to help the officer and was punched by Cheramie and knocked unconscious, the warrant says.

Video surveillance from The Office and another nearby restaurant shows Mark Hinson walking up to an officer and punching him in the face, the warrant says.

“We do have video of the entire incident from beginning to end,” police Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said, adding that the investigation is ongoing.

McKneely said neither off-duty officer is “in any type of trouble,” but that officers are always held to a higher standard of conduct, even when off-duty.