Downtown Armed Robber Pleads Guilty

SNOW HILL — An Ocean City man arrested last year after attempting to rob a downtown business at knife point before being subdued with a Taser by resort police pleaded guilty this week and was sentenced to eight years in jail, all but 18 months of which was then suspended.

In late November, confidential information obtained by the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) allowed officers to proactively avert an attempted armed robbery at a downtown business on Monday night and eventually subdue the suspect with the use of a Taser. On Nov. 26, Ocean City Police detectives received confidential information that a male suspect, later identified as Hector Aaron Torres, 25, of Ocean City, was planning an armed robbery of the O.C. Dollar Store on Philadelphia Ave. near 2nd Street. OCPD detectives corroborated the information, and based on the details of the plan developed immediately removed the employees from the business.

OCPD then concealed tactical officers inside and outside of the business and began surveillance. At roughly 8:20 p.m., Torres entered the O.C. Dollar Store as expected wearing a hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled over his head concealing his face. Torres was holding a razor knife in one hand and a kitchen knife in his other hand.

During the attempted armed robbery, Torres walked through the aisles of the store attempting to locate an employee in the now vacant business. OCPD tactical officers then confronted Torres inside the store and attempted to arrest him. Torres immediately attempted to flee on foot, at which time OCPD officers ordered him to stop. When Torres failed to obey commands to stop, he was subdued and taken into custody by an officer who deployed an electronic control device, or Taser.

OCPD officers recovered the razor knife and kitchen knife, which Torres discarded when he attempted to flee the scene on foot. Torres was charged with felony armed robbery and robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery and robbery, resisting arrest, possession of concealed deadly weapon and possession of a deadly weapon with intent to injure.

In Circuit Court on Wednesday, Torres pleaded guilty to armed robbery and was sentenced to eight years in jail. All but 18 months of the sentence was then suspended and Torres was placed on probation for two years upon his release. As a condition of the plea arrangement, the other charges against Torres were not prosecuted.