OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was arrested on first-degree assault and other serious charges this week for allegedly threatening three individuals with a knife before being disarmed and locked on a balcony.
Around 2:24 a.m. on Wednesday, Ocean City Police responded to a condominium at 51st Street for a report of a man threatening a group of individuals with a knife. When an OCPD officer arrived and met with the three victims, he noticed the unit was in disarray with broken glass strewn across the floor and garbage dumped out and spread around the condo suggesting a struggle had taken place. One of the victims had a cut on her foot from the broken glass.
The injured victim told police the incident began as an argument between her and the suspect, identified as Douglas R. Groff, 37, of Ephrata, Pa., over vacation plans with other friends also in Ocean City. The victim wanted to meet with friends while Groff did not, according to police reports. During the argument, Groff told the victim he was taking her car to “blow off some steam” and eventually took the vehicle without her permission.
On Tuesday, Groff and the three eventual victims in the alleged knife attack were at a nearby bar when the first victim got into another argument with the suspect. Groff then left the bar and went back to the rental unit on 51st Street. The three victims came back to the unit later, but Groff attempted to keep them from entering. The victims were able to get into the unit and an argument ensued.
A male victim attempted to break up the altercation, at which time Groff allegedly retrieved a knife. According to the victims, Groff then raised the knife as if he was going to stab someone. Two females tackled Groff to the floor and the knife was removed.
After the victims were able to disarm Groff, the suspect then went to the balcony and the sliding door was locked. Groff allegedly attempted to get back into the unit, throwing a chair at the glass door, causing cracks, according to the police report.
The victim then told Groff she was calling the police, at which point Groff climbed down from the third-floor balcony and fled across the beach. Groff later returned and was taken into custody. Groff was charged with three counts of first-degree assault, carrying a dangerous weapon with intent to injure and unauthorized removal of property.