Business Owner Killed In West OC Hit-And-Run; Suspect Fled Scene, Still Not Apprehended

WEST OCEAN CITY — Maryland State Police this week confirmed the victim in the fatal hit-and-run pedestrian accident on Friday was a West Ocean City resident and the owner and operator of Boardwalk retail stores.
MSP officials on Tuesday identified the victim in the fatal hit-and-run accident on Route 50 near its intersection at Elm Street almost directly in front of the Starbucks coffee shop as Jerold Sharoff, 58, of West Ocean City. Sharoff owned and operated the Beachwear Outlet and Surf Beachwear stores on the Boardwalk.
Shortly after 10 p.m. last Friday, MSP troopers responded to a reported motor vehicle accident involving a pedestrian on eastbound Route 50 in West Ocean City near its intersection with Elm Street. The accident occurred almost directly in front of the Starbucks coffee shop on the south side of Route 50 with the Outback Steakhouse on the opposite side.
Upon arrival, MSP troopers discovered the male victim, now identified as Sharoff, with injuries that appeared to be life-threatening. Sharoff was pronounced deceased at Atlantic General Hospital a short time later. Sharoff was attempting to cross the eastbound lanes of Route 50 at the time of the collision.
MSP officials said yesterday the search continues for the vehicle involved in the collision, a full-size red Ford pick-up truck, and that no new leads have come to light. Investigators are asking for the public’s help in identifying the vehicle that fled the scene after striking the pedestrian. Witnesses reported the striking vehicle was a red Ford pick-up truck, which continued eastbound on Route 50 toward Ocean City where the witnesses lost sight of it. Law enforcement agencies throughout Worcester County immediately searched the area for the truck to no avail and the suspect remained at large as of late Thursday.
The truck will likely have damage to the driver’s side front fender, bumper and headlight area. The suspect truck will be missing a thin, clear headlight lens and an amber marker light lens, which were recovered at the scene. MSP troopers, along with the Ocean City Police Department, are using several methods of technology to identify the vehicle and driver on or about the time of the collision.
Also, the MSP is urging anyone in or around the area of the fatal collision are being identified and contacted to ascertain if any unusual driving behavior was witnessed. Troopers are specifically requesting that anyone who witnessed the collision or has any information about the whereabouts of the vehicle or the driver to contact the MSP Berlin barrack at 410-641-3101.
Meanwhile, it has also come to light Sharoff was facing federal charges for allegedly producing and trafficking counterfeit goods out of his Boardwalk stores and also for storing them at a West Ocean City warehouse. In January, Sharoff was indicted on federal charges of conspiring and trafficking in counterfeit goods and counterfeit labels. The federal indictment alleges Sharoff and his co-conspirators produced and sold counterfeit trademarked items from the two Boardwalk stores and also stored counterfeit goods at a West Ocean City warehouse.
At his initial arraignment in March, Sharoff pleaded not guilty to the federal charges he was facing. Ironically, Sharoff was scheduled to be re-arraigned on the charges in federal court in Baltimore on Tuesday and his trial was set for Oct. 21. The federal charges notwithstanding, it appears Sharoff was well known and popular in the local community. Friends and family reached this week declined to comment on the incident or the victim.