OCEAN CITY — Nine Delaware men were arrested on first-degree assault and other charges last weekend after an alleged unprovoked and “vicious” attack on three men in the Boardwalk early Sunday morning.
Around 1:15 a.m. last Sunday, the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) was dispatched to a reported fight in progress on the Boardwalk at Somerset Street. Upon arrival, an OCPD officer made contact with a male victim whose shirt was stretched and ripped at the collar and whose face was visibly bruised and swollen along with cuts and abrasions on its left side. The victim told police he and his three cousins were “jumped and assaulted” on the Boardwalk.
The victim told police they were approached while walking on the Boardwalk by a large group of males. One of the males in the group allegedly said to the victims “hey, what are you looking at?” and when the victims tried to ignore the query, the suspects repeated the question. The victim told police he tried to ignore the group, but was soon surrounded by as many as 15 assailants who attacked them.
Two of the victims were able to flee, but two were not able to get away because of the physical attack they were enduring. One of the victims told police he was tackled by the large group, who continuously punched him with closed fists and began kicking him in the head, face, abdomen and back while he was “helplessly lying on the ground trying unsuccessfully to block some of the vicious blows he was receiving,” according to police reports. The victim told police he felt he was on the ground for a significant amount of time as he was being battered.
One of the two victims told police he felt one of his assailants going through his pockets while he was being beaten, but could not identify the thief because of the vicious attack he was enduring. The suspect took from the victim a wallet containing about $90 in cash and a cell phone valued at around $200.
The other victim told police two male suspects from the group ran up to him and started punching him in the face with closed fists until he was knocked to the ground. The victim’s glasses were knocked from his face during the attack.
The second victim told police he attempted to fight back to protect himself when other members of the group joined in and “viciously and intentionally beat him in the face.” At one point, the second victim said his attackers left him alone and joined the group attacking his cousin.
The victims told police once the group finished their attack, they fled the area on foot. The victims were able to provide physical descriptions of their attackers, but told police they were more concerned with protecting themselves if the group returned and started beating them again. The victims told police they didn’t do anything to provoke the beatings. In fact, the victims told police they “felt as if they just did it for fun,” according to police reports.
The victims also told police they heard one of the suspects talking about a gun and about shooting something or somebody during the attack, although neither ever saw a gun. A description of the assailants was broadcast and another OCPD officer immediately recognized the alleged attackers as a group he had observed earlier in the night.
A description of the vehicles in which the assailants were traveling was broadcast and the two vehicles were located a short time later in the area of 54th Street. The victims were brought to the area to identify the attackers and positively identified six members of the group including Robert Hill, 20, of Camden, Del.; Jamera Fisher, 19, of Dover; Julian Freeman, 22, of Dover; D’Andrew Chandler, 18, of Dover; Duante Morrison, 18, of Magnolia; and Craig Powell, 25, of Dover.
During the traffic stop, police also located a handgun and marijuana in the vehicle. The handgun was located under a rear passenger seat in the van. According to police reports, Morrison was in possession of the gun and threw it behind his seat when the police pulled over the vehicle. Chandler allegedly then grabbed the weapon and hid it under his seat.
All six of the alleged suspects were arrested and charged with two counts each of first- and second-degree assault. Chandler was also charged with possession of a handgun and possession of marijuana. Morrison was also charged with handgun possession and theft.
Around two hours later, at 3:39 a.m., police located a third vehicle containing three more suspects in the area of 21st Street. Again, the victims were brought to the scene to identify the suspects, including Randall Harris, 18, of Dover; Keontre Hynson, 18, of Dover; and Zamale Bull, 19, of Harrington.
The three additional suspects were also charged with two counts each of first- and second-degree assault. Each of the nine suspects were taken before a District Court Commissioner and eight were ordered held on bonds ranging from $20,000 to $25,000. Bull was ordered held without bond.