Scooter Driver Led Police Down Packed Boardwalk Before Crashing Into Dumpster

OCEAN CITY — A Frederick man was arrested on numerous charges last weekend after fleeing and eluding police during a chase on a rented motor scooter that included a packed Boardwalk on a busy Saturday night.

Around 6:40 p.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was on marked patrol in the area of 18th Street and Baltimore Avenue when he observed a male later identified as Percy Tolson, 18, of Frederick, riding a rented motor scooter without eye protection or a wind screen. In addition, Tolson was riding the scooter with earphone plugs in both ears.

The officer began following Tolson as he traveled north on Baltimore Avenue at a high rate of speed, relative to the speed of a scooter, while passing other vehicles on the roadway. Tolson reportedly made a sharp left turn onto 24th Street without signaling or without any warning in front of other vehicles and the officer following him activated his lights and siren.

According to police reports, Tolson entered Philadelphia Avenue at 24th Street without stopping at a stop sign and headed north while the officer continued to follow with lights and siren activated. Tolson then abruptly crossed all four lanes of Philadelphia Avenue and into the path of large motor vehicles, which had to brake to avoid hitting him.

According to police reports, Tolson then circled around the block again, heading east on 25th Street toward the Boardwalk. By now, the initial officer had broadcasted a description of Tolson and the scooter and multiple units converged in the area in attempt to stop him. Tolson then drove the scooter down Wilmington Lane to 24th Street where he headed east toward the Boardwalk.

Tolson entered the Boardwalk at 24th Street. The officer noted in his report it was a beautiful Saturday night and there was heavy vehicular and pedestrian traffic on all of the streets, sidewalks and alleyways where the chase was going on, especially the Boardwalk. The officer reported there were thousands of people on the Boardwalk around 6:40 p.m. and Tolson drove the scooter on the Boardwalk weaving in and out of the heavy pedestrian traffic at a high rate of speed.

The initial officer was unable to keep up with Tolson as he moved through the crowd, but other OCPD officers continued to monitor his movements down the crowded Boardwalk through heavy pedestrian traffic. Surveillance cameras captured images of Tolson driving the scooter on the wrong side of the road and into oncoming traffic between 16th and 15th streets before re-entering the Boardwalk and weaving in and out of thousands of pedestrians.

Tolson eventually crashed the scooter into a dumpster in the area of 14th Street and fled on foot into the Harrison Hall Hotel nearby. The scooter suffered extensive damage in the collision and police learned it had been rented from Cycle City. OCPD officers went to Cycle City and determined the scooter had been rented by Tolson who was staying in room 305 at the Harrison Hall Hotel.

OCPD officers went to the hotel and located Tolson in his room still wearing the same clothes he was wearing when captured by surveillance video. Through the investigation, police learned Tolson did not have a license to operate a motor scooter and only held a Maryland learner’s permit.

When interviewed, Tolson reportedly told police he fled when the officer activated his lights and siren because he was scared and that he only had a learner’s permit. He was arrested and charged with fleeing and eluding and dozens of traffic violations.

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.