Jail For Belt Attack On Cop

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean View man was sentenced to 18 months in jail for attacking a police officer this week.

Around 11:40 p.m. on Sept. 3, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer on foot patrol in the downtown area observed a man, later identified as Jacob Harden, 45, of Ocean View, Del., standing in the middle of Dorchester Street yelling expletives including alleged threats directed at police officers. According to police reports, Harden also had a leather belt wrapped around his right hand with about six inches of the leather portion and a metal belt buckle dangling and fashioned as a weapon.

As the officer approached, Harden allegedly told police, “let’s go,” and took a fighting stance with the belt still fashioned as a weapon in his right hand and his left hand clenched in a fist. According to police reports, Harden said “[expletive deleted] cops,” and “I will [expletive deleted] you up.”

Harden allegedly approached one of the officers with the hand holding the belt raised as if he was going to strike the officer. Harden then lunged at the officer, who was able to avoid a strike by the belt and position himself behind Harden. The officer was able to tackle Harden to the ground, but the suspect continued to scrap with police and resist arrest.

At that point, another OCPD officer deployed his Taser with two probes striking Harden in the back. Harden swung his hand around and was able to disconnect the two Taser probes and continued to resist, but was soon handcuffed and subdued although he continued his expletive-laced tirade toward the officers. According to police reports, Harden attempted to spit on the arresting officers, who eventually applied a violent prisoner restraint device on the suspect.

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While on the scene, an OCPD officer was approached by an off-duty Maryland Transportation Authority police sergeant who stated he witnessed Harden attempt to assault a bartender at a nearby bar. The witness told police Harden entered the bar and immediately became aggressive with numerous patrons. When the female bartender asked Harden to leave, he allegedly attempted to strike her multiple times with a closed fist. Bar patrons were eventually able to escort Harden out.

Harden was ultimately charged with second-degree assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and resisting arrest. He was sentenced to 32 days for the former and 18 months for the latter.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.