Alleged Dealer Drags Cop, Uses Canal To Escape

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was arrested on first-degree assault and numerous other charges last weekend after a wild incident that began with an attempted drug sale to undercover officer on the Boardwalk, included the dragging of another officer alongside a vehicle and ended with the suspect jumping into the bay before being caught hours later.

Around 1:47 a.m. last Saturday, Ocean City narcotics detectives, assisted by undercover and plainclothes officers, attempted to arrest Michael Joseph McGovern, 30, of Williamsport, Pa., for selling marijuana and ecstasy to an undercover detective. During the arrest, McGovern fled from police in the area of 19th Street and a description of the suspect was broadcast.

Ocean City bicycle officers located McGovern as he was attempting to enter his vehicle. A brief struggle took place inside the vehicle with an officer on both the driver’s and passenger’s side. During the struggle, McGovern managed to start the vehicle and put it in reverse, dragging the officer on the driver’s side and nearly running over the officer on the passenger side.

The officer who was dragged on the driver’s side was eventually able to free himself by falling out of the vehicle and under the driver’s side door, which was still open. Other officers responded and a brief vehicle pursuit ensued before McGovern bailed out of his vehicle on the west side of Coastal Highway in the area of Marlin Drive.

OCPD officers continued to pursue McGovern on foot and later determined he had jumped in a canal in the area of 21st Street. OCPD officers were able to track McGovern to the area of 28th Street. The multi-agency search included the Maryland State Police Aviation Unit, the U.S. Coast Guard and a Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) marine unit.

Police eventually located McGovern in a condominium on Eagle Drive about three hours after the incident.

The officer dragged by the vehicle was transported to Atlantic General Hospital and was treated for hand and arm injuries before being released. McGovern was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault, assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, fleeing and eluding, reckless and negligent driving and two counts of distribution of marijuana and ecstasy.