Can't Even Attend a Funeral Here
If the police aren't safe in Baltimore, what chance do citizens have?

(AP) Baltimore, Md. Two visiting law enforcement officers were robbed at gunpoint outside a bar in a trendy section of Baltimore, hours before they were to attend the funeral of a Baltimore detective who was shot to death during a robbery attempt at the end of his shift.

A federal agent and a Virginia state trooper were in Baltimore Tuesday for the funeral of Baltimore Detective Troy Chesley Sr., 34, whose murder last week seemed to embody the city's problem with violent crime.

Chesley, a 13-year veteran who worked in the unit assigned to patrol public housing, died in an exchange of gunfire with a would-be robber who accosted him near his girlfriend's west Baltimore home. Chesley had just gotten off work and was in plainclothes, and police believe he was a random victim. They charged a 21-year-old man who had more than 17 arrests on his record with the shooting after scouring local hospitals for someone with a gunshot wound.

It was the third violent attack against a city police officer in three months, each case involving apparently random crime.

On Monday, Jason E. Dietsch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Virginia State Trooper Michael McCann joined thousands of law enforcement officers converging on the city for Chesley's funeral the next day. The two told The (Baltimore) Sun that although they did not know Chesley, they felt compelled to show their support.

The two men were dining with friends including Baltimore County officers in Canton's O'Donnell Square, a popular block of bars and restaurants not far from the Inner Harbor.

About 2:30 a.m., Dietsch, McCann and a friend were standing and talking on the street when two men came up to them and demanded money. McCann was punched in the face. Dietsch was struck on the side of the face with a pistol. City police arrested Jean Sierra, 20, of Glyndon, after spotting him walking "very quickly" away from the scene and charged him with 23 criminal offenses, including robbery and handgun charges, according to charging documents.

Dietsch was hospitalized overnight with a bruised eye socket and missed the funeral. "I'm upset that I couldn't go," Dietsch told The Sun in a telephone interview Wednesday. "I'm upset that stuff like this is happening in Baltimore and in areas that are fairly decent. I could have been dead. This is terrible. This city has been horrible lately."

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