Friend Caught Pitching Rocks

OCEAN CITY – After his friend damaged a street sign and fled police, a defensive 19-year-old Pennsylvania man took out his frustration by throwing rocks at a patrol car, causing about $500 worth of damage.

At approximately 1 a.m. on Wednesday, June 11, Ocean City Police responded to Robin Drive to assist the Maryland State Police (MSP) with a young man who was destroying public property. MSP witnessed the man, Justin Zepp, 20, of Birdsboro, Pa., pulling down a street sign and bending it so that it blocked a portion of the sidewalk. Officers placed Zepp under arrest.

While arresting Zepp, authorities on hand were confronted by a man, Michael Snyder, 19, of Reading, Pa. Snyder was a friend of Zepp’s and became upset about his friend’s arrest. Officers asked Snyder to leave the area and witnessed him disappear behind the Old Pro Golf Course.

During Zepp’s arrest, police noticed rocks being hurled in their direction. The rocks, which were being thrown one at a time, were approximately the size of a half-dollar. One of the rocks actually struck Zepp and several others came close to hitting the officers. The Ocean City police K-9 vehicle’s rear window and tail light cover were shattered after being hit by several rocks. K-9 “Indy” was in the car at the time, however, was not injured. 

A witness on Robin Drive identified Snyder as the person throwing the rocks at the officers. Snyder was arrested after a short foot chase. At the time of Snyder’s arrest, he was found to have a handful of rocks. During the arrests, officers noted both Zepp and Snyder appeared to have a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage about their breath and were both found to be in possession of a quantity of suspected marijuana as well.

Zepp was charged with misdemeanor offenses of malicious destruction of property and possession of marijuana. Snyder was charged with one felony count of malicious destruction of property to the police vehicle, misdemeanor malicious destruction of property to the MSP vehicle, two counts of assault in the second degree on the OCPD and MSP officers, as well as possession of marijuana.

The total damage to the OCPD officer’s vehicle exceeded $500 and includes damage to the rear window and rear signal lamp covers as well as several dents and paint scratches. The MSP vehicle sustained minor dents and scratches believed to be under $500. The Town of Ocean City Street sign sustained approximately $75 worth of damage.