Boardwalk Merchant Assaulted By Alleged Shoplifter

OCEAN CITY – A Boardwalk merchant was badly beaten last Sunday after confronting a large group of individuals he observed shoplifting from his store.

Shortly before 1 a.m. last Sunday, OCPD officers responded to a large fight in progress at the corner of North Division Street and the Boardwalk. One of the officers arriving on the scene heard over the radio large groups were fighting on the Boardwalk in the direction of 1st Street. When the officer drove up 1st Street toward the Boardwalk, he observed a suspect, later identified as Zachary V. Byrd, 23, of Hyattsville, fighting with an individual later identified as David Lougasi, who was bleeding profusely from the face.

A large group of individuals had gathered around and were attempting to break up the fight when the officer arrived. In the meantime, a crowd of about 30 people had gathered on the Boardwalk to watch the incident. The officer got Byrd off Lougasi and began to sort out who the incident unfolded. A short time later, Robert E. Byrd, 28, of Charlottesville, Va., came up to the scene.

OCPD officers interviewed the badly beaten Lougasi, who told them Robert Byrd had stolen a bag of Salvia Divinorum, a powerful psycho-active herb valued at $45 from his Cool Topics store. Lougasi said he followed Byrd and his entourage to Photo Magic on the Boardwalk where he confronted them about the stolen merchandize. Lougasi told police both Robert and Zachary Byrd then punched him several times in the face during a fight, which spilled over onto the Boardwalk.

Once the fight escalated outside Photo Magic, Lougasi was knocked to the ground and kicked repeatedly in the face. Nonetheless, Lougasi got up and pursued Robert and Zachary Byrd and the rest of their group down the Boardwalk to 1st Street, which is where police first encountered the fight still in progress. Other officers interviewed witnesses, who all corroborated the Boardwalk merchant’s account of the events.

Lougasi was taken to Atlantic General Hospital by Ocean City EMS where he was treated for multiple serious injuries. Lougasi had three upper front teeth knocked out during the altercation, two of which were recovered by EMS. He also had four lower teeth loosened and sustained gum damage. Lougasi also advised his ribs on both sides were injured as was his right hand.

Robert Byrd and Zachary Byrd were both arrested and charged with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct.  After his arrest, Zachary Byrd complained of pain in his hand and was transported to AGH where it was revealed his right hand was broken.