Man Arrested After Choking Server Over Chicken Fingers

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man was arrested on first-degree assault and other charges last weekend after choking a waiter at a Boardwalk restaurant when his female companion did not get the chicken fingers she ordered.

Around 11:25 p.m. last Saturday, Ocean City Police responded to the Brass Balls Saloon on the Boardwalk near 12th Street for a reported assault that had already occurred. OCPD Communications advised the responding officers an individual wearing a Howard Johnson shirt and name tag had reportedly choked a victim in the restaurant before going back to the hotel, which is located in the same block on the Boardwalk.

OCPD officers went to the hotel and made contact with male wearing a Howard Johnson shirt. The officers were able to identify the individual as Carl Ludovic Saint-Juste, 22, of Ocean City. The officers asked Saint-Juste if he had just choked somebody out, to which he responded, “if there was a fight, somebody would have been leaking and bruised,” according to police reports.

OCPD officers then went back to the Brass Balls Saloon to interview the victim, who was a waiter at the restaurant. The victim told police he was sitting at a table when a female patron, who had come in with two other males, approached him and complained she did not receive the chicken fingers she had ordered. The victim told police another of the two men accompanying the female also confronted him about the missing order.

While the victim was speaking with the other male, Saint-Juste allegedly snuck up behind him and began to choke him. The victim told police he pulled down Saint-Juste’s arm in an attempt to stop him from choking him, but the suspect would not relieve his grip. The victim told police his airway was compromised and he was unable to breathe as Saint-Juste continued to choke him and he feared he could be seriously injured if the suspect did not stop.

The victim told police Saint-Juste did not stop choking him until someone else in the establishment yelled at him to stop. The victim told police he felt pain in his neck and back after the suspect stopped choking him. An OCPD officer watched video surveillance of the incident and observed Saint-Juste choke the victim for 12 seconds while the victim was seated in a chair.

“Saint Juste snuck up behind the victim and forcefully choked him,” the statement of charges reads. “The victim was unable to breathe, and because he was unable to breathe, he was in danger of serious bodily injury or death.”

Saint-Juste was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault. He was held initially on a $25,000 bond, but at a bond review on Tuesday, his bail was reduced to $10,000 and he was released.