SNOW HILL – A Clarksburg, Md. man was found guilty this week in Circuit Court of robbery for his part in a series of strong-arm attacks in Ocean City this summer and was sentenced to eight years in jail, half of which was suspended, leaving him faced with a four-year stretch.
Around 1:30 a.m. on June 10, an Ocean City police officer was dispatched to the area of 13th Street and St. Louis Ave. for a reported armed robbery. The officer met with three victims who told police they were walking on 12th Street when they were suddenly surrounded by a group of 8-10 men. One of the assailants, later identified as Antwan Rashad Beckwith, 21, of Clarksburg, Md., told the victims “you know what this is,” and ordered them to empty their pockets. Beckwith told the victims he had a gun and was not afraid to use it.
One of the victims pushed away and fled on foot, but another of the victims was then punched in the head, knocking him to the ground. The victim got up and was punched in the head several more times by Beckwith before relenting and turning over his wallet, around $80 in cash and a cell phone. The large group then fled the scene.
Later on June 10, about an hour after the first incident, the OCPD responded to a reported fight in the area of 16th Street and Baltimore Ave. During the altercation, a suspect later identified as Beckwith pointed a gun at a victim and demanded he turn over his property. When Beckwith was arrested a short time later, he was found with a black replica handgun on his person.
Because of the similarities of the incidents, OCPD detectives prepared a photo line-up of Beckwith and others with similar characteristics. On June 13, detectives showed the line-up to the victim of the first incident and he immediately identified Beckwith as his assailant. The other victims in the initial incident also identified Beckwith as the man who threatened to wield a gun in the robbery.
Beckwith was charged with robbery, two counts of attempted robbery and two counts of theft. In Worcester County Circuit Court on Tuesday, Beckwith entered an Alford plea to the robbery charge and was found guilty. In an Alford plea, a defendant acknowledges the state has enough evidence to prosecute, but does not actually admit guilt. Beckwith was sentenced to eight years in jail with four years suspended. He was also ordered to pay $370 in restitution to his victim.
In the related case, on Oct. 31, Beckwith had charges against him of conspiracy to commit robbery and carrying a replica handgun dropped in District Court in Ocean City.