OCEAN CITY — The second batch of defendants arrested after a series of related incidents on the Boardwalk in late July were in court on Thursday on various charges but similar outcomes including 30-day jail sentences.
On July 24, a large crowd of college-age individuals roaming the Boardwalk amid the rest of the big crowd on a hot summer night reached a crescendo with several incidents breaking out in different areas all with a similar theme. The first arrest began around 9:45 p.m. in the area of 1st Street and resulted in multiple arrests. The lawlessness continued with several more incidents reported later in the night in the area of 7th and 8th Streets.
When the dust settled, at least 12 were arrested on various charges with a common theme including second-degree assault, resisting arrest, obstructing and hindering, reckless endangerment and failure to obey a lawful order, for example.
In late August, the first batch of instigators in the near riots went to trial including Kevin Rusten, 26, of Silver Spring, who was the catalyst for the initial incident and what was to follow. Ocean City Police observed Rusten kick over a trash can and drag it to the center of the Boardwalk where he emptied its contents.
When OCPD officers attempted to arrest Rusten, he became aggressive toward the officers and a large, hostile crowd began to form. Numerous suspects assaulted police as they tried to disperse the crowd and more arrests were made. In August, Rusten pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and resisting arrest and was sentenced to 10 days in jail.
Also arrested during that initial incident at 1st Street was Jiare Darden, 20, of Baltimore. Darden was in court on Thursday and pleaded guilty to obstructing and hindering and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.
The incident on 1st Street was a precursor of sorts for a larger incident yet to come later that night and into the next morning further up the Boardwalk. Around 12:40 a.m., it reached a head when the OCPD saw a large, disorderly crowd estimated at over 200 converging on the Boardwalk at 7th Street. According to police reports, individuals in the crowd were yelling profanities and some began throwing bottles and other objects. The crowd was hostile and aggressive toward the police officers attempting to disperse them.
Among the seven arrestees during that second incident were Steven Williams, 20, of Baltimore; and Nickolet Serrano, 19, of Beltsville. On Thursday, Williams was found guilty of obstructing and hindering and was sentenced to 30 days. Also on Thursday, Serrano was found guilty of disorderly conduct and was also sentenced to 30 days.
In August, two other suspect arrested after the 7th Street riot were convicted, including Jayvon Jackson, 19, of Silver Spring, who was sentenced to 10 days for resisting arrest; and Savanah Nelson, 21, of Capitol Heights, who was fined a combined $800 for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
The rest of the defendants in the July Boardwalk riots are scheduled to appear for trial next week.