OCEAN CITY – A Pennsylvania man faces multiple serious charges this week including assault and false imprisonment after a bizarre incident last weekend that included holding his girlfriend against her will, assaulting her and implicating her in a theft scheme.
Shortly before 5:30 a.m. last Sunday, OCPD Ofc. Earl Campbell was in the 9th Street area near the Madison Beach Motel when he was approached by a man who told him he could hear a female screaming at a male and begging him to let her out of the room. The officer observed Alfred R. Ward, 37, of Middletown, Pa., grab the female, force her back inside and close the shutters on the window.
When the officer banged on the door, Ward answered and said “sir, we were just having an argument.” Campbell pushed the door open to see where the female victim was and Ward said, “Nothing is wrong, see, we were just having an argument.”
The officer observed the victim sitting on the end of the bed and when he asked her if everything was okay, she nodded yes. Campbell asked Ward to step outside so he could talk to the victim alone. When Ward was gone, the victim looked directly at the officer and whispered with her lips only “Please don’t leave me, he beat me and he won’t let me leave here,” as she lowered the towel to reveal where Ward had punched her two times in the face and neck.
Ward was taken into custody while Campbell could sort out what had happened. The victim told the officer she was on a pay phone when an irate Ward slammed the phone down and ordered the victim back to the motel unit.
Fearful of what Ward might do, the victim said she hung up with her sister and returned to the room, where Ward allegedly grabbed her by the hair, threw her on the floor and punched her several times before trying to suffocate her.
The victim briefly got away and was attempting to get out of a small bathroom window when the witness heard the yelling and alerted the nearby Campbell. Ward was arrested at that point, and he began trying to cover his tracks by turning the tables on the victim. Ward told police the victim had stolen several items from local businesses, including a television from Rose’s.
When questioned about the stolen television, the victim told quite a different story than Ward’s. While in the store, the victim said Ward told her he was going to steal the TV but she needed to create a diversion. Concerned about what Ward might do to her if she didn’t cooperate, the victim went to the customer service counter and asked for an employment application while Ward fled with the television.
A surveillance tape corroborated the victim’s story. Ward was taken into custody and charged with second-degree assault, false imprisonment, theft under $500 and reckless endangerment.