OCEAN CITY — A Falls Church, Va. man was arrested on first-degree assault and other charges early last Saturday morning after first nearly running over two men in a restaurant parking lot and then allegedly threatening them with a machete.
Around 4:30 a.m. last Saturday, Ocean City Police responded to the parking lot of the Denny’s restaurant in the area of 112th Street for a reported weapons violation. OCPD officers met with two victims who said they were walking through the parking lot to the restaurant when they saw a silver-colored vehicle “flying down the parking lot” that almost struck them.
One of the individuals raised their hand up in a stop motion and asked the occupants of the vehicle what their problem was and told them that they had almost hit the two men. The victims told police the passenger started yelling at them. At that point, the driver, later identified as Stephen Dayaram Jagtiani, 30, of Falls Church, Va., jumped out of the vehicle and approached the two men with what appeared to be a large, sharp object in his hands.
One of the victims told police he was trying to calm the situation down when he heard what sounded like a “ching” sound. The victim turned back toward Jagtiani and saw that he had pulled out a large machete, according to police reports. The victim said Jagtiani was waving the machete over his head as he approached the two victims. The victims, then fearing for their lives, ran and called police.
Officers went into the restaurant and found Jagtiani and two other individuals matching the descriptions provided by the victims sitting at a table. The victims were then brought to the scene and positively identified Jagtiani as the individual who had threatened them with the machete. Jagtiani was then placed under arrest for assault and carrying a concealed deadly weapon.
Officers searched Jagtiani for the weapon but found nothing. The OCPD officers continued to search the area around the restaurant parking lot for the weapon to no avail. According to police reports, Jagtiani mocked the officer and laughed at them during the search, claiming they would never find the weapon.
The officers found the machete inside a tube on an old fire truck that was on the site as an advertisement display. Officers showed the weapon to the victims, who identified the machete as the weapon with which Jagtiani allegedly threatened them.
Jagtiani was charged with two counts each of first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and carrying a dangerous weapon with intent to injure. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and later released on a $25,000 bond.