Prosecutors have dropped charges against Ibrahima Diallo, an 18-year-old who was arrested in July for shooting himself on the beach with an illegal gun and then hiding it in the sand.
With the Ocean City tourist season long over, now is when we see many of the crimes committed over the summer finally brought to trial.
Some high profile crazies, like the man who was arrested
for throwing his own feces at people on the street, get the book thrown at them. Others, like the man arrested for drunkingly urinating
on an Ocean City Police cruiser, see their charges dropped or sentences suspended. A lot of these cases end up being a little comical, but not all of them are...
This week, local prosecutors decided to drop charges against 18-year-old Ibrahima Diallo who was charged with illegally carrying an unlicensed handgun.
Just after midnight on July 9, Diallo walked into the 75th Street Medical Center and sought treatment for a self-inflicted gunshot wound on his leg. As police investigated and pressed Ibrahima Diallo, he revealed that he accidentally shot himself on the beach and then disposed of the gun in the sand. This obviously frightened local police, who in turn closed four blocks of the beach -- between 81st Street and 85th street -- for most of the following day to search for the pistol. Officers used dogs trained to sniff out explosives and metal detectors, however they were unable to locate the discarded gun.
Ibrahima Diallo broke a lot of laws. Under Maryland law, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase or possess a handgun. Diallo was 18 and admitted to owning an illegal handgun. State law also requires that handguns be registered. Since Diallo's handgun was not legally acquired, it was not registered and it is also a pretty significant crime to just toss a gun onto the beach where children can find it. None of these crimes will apparently be prosecuted, though prosecutors could certainly change their minds at a later date.
While the police officers' inability to find the gun likely led to the charges being dismissed, Diallo's own admission -- not to mention the gunshot in his leg -- should have been enough to take it to trial.
You can tell a lot about a prosecutor's priorities by which cases they choose to take to trial. What charges are dropped also sends a clear message to future tourists and visitors on what they can likely get away with next season. It is absolutely mind boggling that these prosecutors would drop the charges against an 18-year-old who not only admitted to illegally owning and carrying a pistol, but also discharged it on the beach and then left it there for anyone to find.
If prosecutors only had the ability to bring one crime committed this past summer to trial, you'd think that the case involving gunshots on the Ocean City beach would be towards the top of the list. But apparently, it is not.