What began as a simple open container citation devolved into assault charges and, ultimately, jail time for one Ocean City tourist. On July 24, Ocean City Police were on a routine patrol on the beach late at night when they found a group on the beach.
Back on July 24, an Ocean City Police patrol noticed a small crowd of people congregating on the beach after midnight. Being so late at night, the two OCPD officers walked over to explain to the group that the beach was closed. That was when the officers noticed that some in the group were holding red plastic cups, which are typically associated with alcoholic drinks. Sure enough, they caught a strong alcohol smell coming from the cups, escalating the encounter from a friendly reminder of beach hours to an investigation into an open container violation.
The officers told the two individuals holding the cups to step aside and sit on the concrete curb until they could be processed. One of the individuals, who identified himself to police as Kobe Simms, refused to follow the order because he 'didn't want to get sand on his pants.'
Eventually, Simms complied and sat on the sandy curb (the horror!) and told the officers that there was no problem because he was 23 and old enough to drink. The police congratulated Simms on knowing the legal drinking age, but informed him that it is still a violation of the local ordinance to have an open container of alcohol on public property.
This is where his story started to fall apart. While talking to an officer, Simms started walking away, claiming that the red cup wasn't his and that he was just doing his civic duty by carrying it to the trash can. Police didn't buy it. But then, Simms allegedly slipped up and told another officer that he was born in 1998. It's really hard for a "23-year-old" to have a birthday that was 19 years ago.
When pressed even harder, Simms admitted that he was actually born in 2000, making him 17 years old. Not only did he lie to a police officer, but he didn't even pick a date that would have made him old enough to drink.
At this point, the officers explained to Simms and his friend that they would be cited for having an open container of alcohol on the beach and would be handcuffed during that process. Simms didn't really like that, so he decided to walk away and resist the officer trying to handcuff him.
Now, some people might not know this, but this is called "resisting arrest" and police officers don't really like it when suspects do that. So, a struggle ensued with the officers trying to get the handcuffs around Simms' wrist and him doing everything to stop that from happening. The struggle turned into a bona fide fight with Simms striking one of the arresting officers in the throat with his forearm. At this point, the two police officers tackled him to the sand and finished taking him into custody.
Here's the crazy part: when they brought him into the police station, they found out that he wasn't "Kobe Simms." His real name was Anthony Collins, a 23-year-old from Frederick, Maryland. He lied to police to try to avoid getting charged.
Now, I know what you're thinking: why would someone lie to police and pretend to be too young to drink alcohol? The only thing that makes sense would be if he was trying to avoid the open container charge, thinking that the police officers might let a minor off the hook. Or, perhaps it was because Anthony Collins had a warrant out for violating his parole.
In Maryland, it is a crime to lie to a police officer. It is also a crime to strike a police officer in the throat to try to escape arrest. So, Anthony Collins was charged with providing fraudulent information to avoid prosecution, assault and resisting arrest.
He had to wait a few months for his court date in mid-September. Anthony Collins ultimately pled guilty to the charges of 2nd degree assault and providing fraudulent information to avoid prosecution. The judge then sentenced him to one year in jail.
So, what can we learn from this roller coaster tale of debauchery and deception? First of all, stay off the beach at night. The best way to not get yelled at by cops is to avoid situations where you'd be yelled at.
But if you do find yourself on the beach at night, don't drink out of a red Solo cup. Don't drink on the beach at all, but definitely don't drink out of the most iconic party beverage vessel known to man.
But if you do get busted drinking on the beach, don't lie to the cops about who you are and how old you are.
But if you do lie to the cops about who you are and how old you are, don't punch a police officer in the throat and try to run away.
Because that is how you go from a routine police encounter to spending one year in jail.