Ocean City is hopping during the summer time as the city's population balloons to more than 320,000 people on a given weekend. With that influx of tourists also comes an uptick in crimes, both petty and violent.
Some Ocean City crimes are to be expected, others can be a bit... crazy at times. You be the judge. Here are some of the highlights (or lowlights) from the June Ocean City Crime Blotter.
Open Container Ticket Turns Into a Violent Misdemeanor
Jarett Houston, age 29, of New Jersey, was arrested after allegedly assaulting an Ocean City police officer on the boardwalk near 12th Street. Police originally stopped Houston for an open-container violation. Aggravated by the stop, Houston attempted to escape from the police by jumping from the boardwalk. His getaway was short-lived, however, since police were able to quickly apprehend him. That is when the encounter turned violent. As police officers grabbed Houston's arms to detain him and put him in handcuffs, the suspect allegedly pushed back and was able to punch an officer. Another officer tried to take Houston down but he allegedly grabbed the officer and drove him into the ground with him. Only when he was on the ground were police able to finally subdue him. What started as just a simple open-container ticket has now evolved into a number of serious charges, including violent misdemeanors. Jarett Houston is now being charged with obstructing a police officer, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and second-degree assault (which is a misdemeanor). If you're going to enjoy the boardwalk, don't carry around open containers. But if you are going to walk around with an open container of alcohol, don't try to run from police and punch them when they catch you... or else you'll end up in the June Ocean City Crime Blotter.
Brandished Gun Causes Unhappy Hour
Patrons inside a bar on 116th Street had an unhappy hour
last week when Matthew N. Watkins, age 33, of Wilmington, Delaware, pulled out a gun. Witnesses allege that Watkins was seen brandishing the gun, racking the slide, and then pointing it at another patron. Shortly after 1:45 a.m., Watkins left the bar and began walking north through the parking lot. Police were called and surrounded the bar before ultimately finding Watkins hiding behind the establishment. While he did not have a gun on him when he was apprehended, police discovered a holstered .40 caliber Smith and Wesson handgun stashed nearby. Matthew Watkins has been charged with illegal possession of a firearm, though more charges related to menacing and brandishing the weapon in the bar are possible. Multiple witnesses have come forward alleging that he not only brandished the firearm in the bar, but also pointed it at patrons. If you're going to drink, drink responsibly and leave the handguns at home.
Father Turns In His Own Son
An Ocean City teenager was arrested in connection with a burglary at a boardwalk ice cream shop in mid-June. The ice cream shop owner originally reported the theft on June 15 after a safe containing $15,000 was stolen from the premises. The safe contained an entire week of the store's profits. When police went through the security footage, they saw two men carrying the safe out of the store, along with beer, sodas, and... water. One of the suspects was identified as Joshua Skidmore, age 19, of Cantonsville, Maryland. Police ultimately turned to social media for help, and lo and behold, the suspect's own father
turned him in. When police searched Skidmore's truck, they found around a hundred dollars in loose change and various bottles of beer and soda. The victim later confirmed that the beverage brands matched the beer and sodas stolen from the store. Proving that crime doesn't pay, Joshua Skidmore has now been charged with two counts of fourth-degree theft, theft of more than $10,000, and two counts of second-degree burglary. Joshua Skidmore was held on $25,000 bond but was ultimately released after posting the bond. Joshua Skidmore's suspected accomplice, Troy Jones, age 22, was not immediately charged in connection with the ice cream shop robbery. Both men are also being investigated for vandalism at a downtown Ocean City hotel.
Ocean City can be a crazy place during the summer time, but thankfully, the men and women of the Ocean City Police Department are there to keep the community safe from the likes of drunkards, menacers, and burglars. The June Ocean City Crime Blotter shows that last month was no exception.