OCEAN CITY — An incident that began as an argument over a game of pool last Sunday morning spilled over into a violent physical attack with one victim knocked unconscious and beaten with a metal pipe and three suspects arrested on various charges, including first-degree assault.
Around 1:20 a.m. last Sunday, an OCPD officer on routine patrol was flagged down by a cab driver who advised a situation was about to get out of control in the parking lot of the Oyster Bay shopping center at 116th Street. The officer pulled into the shopping center parking lot and observed members of the Greene Turtle security staff frantically flagging him down and yelling for help.
The officer saw one victim attempting to run away from the melee down to the other end of the parking lot with two suspects, identified as Marvin Battle, 40, of East Orange, N.J., and Shontae Booker, 40, of Cresco, Pa., giving chase. The officer observed Battle and Booker attacking and punching the victim. The officer also saw Booker was carrying a silver, metal pipe. The officer observed Booker and Battle knock the victim to the ground and saw Booker pull back the metal pipe and strike the victim in the head.
The officer ran from the police vehicle and yelled at Booker and Battle to stop, but the suspects continued to attack the victim now on the ground. The officer yelled to the suspects “stop police, Taser, Taser, Taser” but the attack continued. The officer then deployed a Taser, striking Booker in the torso. Booker then dropped the pipe and fell to the ground. The officer handcuffed Booker and ordered Battle to get on the ground with his hands behind his back and Battle complied.
OCPD officers then separated Battle and Booker, the two male victims and another suspect, later identified as Brooklyn Coulbourne, 22, of Salisbury, whose role in the altercation was not yet known.
One victim had significant swelling in his face and a laceration under his left eye, while a second victim also had significant facial swelling and a laceration under his right eye. Both victims refused to be seen by Ocean City EMS.
The officers questioned the two victims, along with Coulbourne, about what had happened. All agreed the incident started over an argument about a pool game in the bar and each said “that it just got crazy,” but each didn’t remember what had happened in the parking lot. The Greene Turtle manager then met with police and said there was video surveillance footage available of the incident in the parking lot.
According to the police report, the footage showed Booker and Battle arguing in the parking lot with the two victims and Coulbourne as they attempted to walk away. The footage also revealed Booker attempting to hold back Battle to stop the argument. Battle then walked over to one of the victims and threw two punches, the second of which knocked out the victim. The footage then allegedly showed Booker walk over and kick the victim while he was still unconscious on the ground. Battle then punched him in the face no less than six times while unconscious.
The footage then showed Coulbourne walking from a vehicle with the metal pipe and what appeared to be a knife. Booker walked over to Coulbourne and took the pipe from her before walking back to the unconscious victim lying on the ground and striking him in the face with the metal pipe.
Booker was arrested and charged with two counts each of first- and second-degree assault, using a dangerous weapon with intent to injure, reckless endangerment and resisting arrest. Battle was charged with second-degree assault, disorderly conduct and affray. Coulbourne was charged with first- and second-degree assault and using a dangerous weapon with intent to injure. Booker was released after posting a $50,000 bond, Battle was released on a $7,500 bond and Coulbourne was released on a $15,000 bond.
Greene Turtle North owner Steve Pappas said the weekend incident was an unfortunate one and occurred on a quiet night at the establishment.
“We closed early that night because it was so quiet here, being the night before Easter. It started inside, but nothing happened inside. From what I’m told, and my guys were leaving at this point because we closed, they basically jumped the guy,” Pappas said. “We’ve been around since 1976 and this is the first time I can remember something like this happening. The Ocean City Police Department can tell you we don’t have too many problems here. The Turtle is an enigma. We are a family restaurant but we have entertainment at night. Unfortunately, you can go to any place in town, even the smaller places, and sometimes you have a problem. Unfortunately, these guys were bad guys and they just happened to come to the Turtle. It’s just such an unfortunate thing.”