Financial Dispute Turns Violent In Front Of Child; First-Degree Assault Charge Filed

OCEAN CITY — A Baltimore man was arrested on first-degree assault charges last week for allegedly strangling and threatening to kill his girlfriend in front of her 4-year-old son at a resort condominium during a dispute over finances.

Around 10:50 p.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a condominium on 120th Street for a reported assault. The officer met with a female victim who told police her boyfriend, identified as Andrew Stevens, 42, of Baltimore, had become physically violent during a verbal confrontation between the couple.

The victim told police the couple had been consuming alcohol and having a normal conversation when the discussion turned to financial affairs. As the discussion turned to each member’s financial contributions to their relationship, Stevens allegedly became more abusive and angry, according to the victim’s testimony.

The victim told police Stevens became more and more angry and demanded she pay him back for his monetary contributions to the relationship. According to police reports, Stevens then snapped and quickly approached the victim who was sitting on a couch in the condo’s living room. The victim told police Stevens became increasingly more violent and began to lift, push and pull her around the living room.

The victim told police Stevens grabbed her by the neck and throat with his hands and squeezed to the point she could no longer breathe. Stevens allegedly held the victim by her throat and neck and threw her into walls and furniture in the room. Stevens allegedly continued to grab the victim by the throat with one hand and held his other hand back while making a fist and told the victim he could kill her.

The victim told police the altercation spread from the living room to the dining room to the kitchen of the condo as Stevens continued to grab her throat, neck and hair. The victim told police Stevens would grab her with both hands around her neck and move her around the condo and that she feared for her life because her airway was constricted.

During the confrontation, Stevens threw the victim on the floor in the living room and got into a position over her while continuing to choke her, according to police reports. At that point, the victim’s four-year-old child intervened and began to push Stevens in an attempt to get him off his mother.

The victim was eventually able to free herself and grabbed her young son and secured him in a bedroom, putting him in front of a television in an attempt to distract the child from the gravity of the situation, according to police reports. The victim then phoned her mother to explain what had just happened while Stevens went out on a balcony to drink a beer and smoke a cigarette, according to police reports. After a brief conversation with her mother, the victim called 911 and Ocean City Police arrived a short time later.

OCPD officers met with the victim, who showed numerous signs of injury including red marks and bruising on her neck along with a laceration that appeared to have been caused by fingernails. The victim also had scrapes and bruising on her arms and elbows. The officers observed an end table in the living room appeared to have been moved as if something had struck it and found a long clump of hair matching the length and color of the victim’s hair on the carpet next to the table.

OCPD officers attempted to interview Stevens about the incident, but he was unable to provide any more information because of his level of intoxication, according to police reports. Stevens allegedly mumbled and was incoherent and maintained a cavalier and unconcerned attitude about the victim and her four-year old child.

Based on the evidence and testimony, including the victim’s statement she was concerned for her life and the life of her child, Stevens was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was ordered to be held on a $25,000 bond.

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.