OCEAN CITY — An Pennsylvania man had to be tased twice last week after launching into an expletive-laced tirade at police who were investigating an incident when the suspect’s wife was allegedly struck by the Boardwalk tram.
Around 7 p.m. last Thursday, the Boardwalk tram was making a turn toward the loop around the pier when the conductor observed Christopher and Lydia Campbell of Blossburg, Pa. facing the opposite direction in the tram’s path. According to the incident report, the conductor called out to the Campbells to watch out for the tram, but she instead stepped back, hit the tram and fell down.
An Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer arrived on the scene a short time later and found Lydia Campbell siting on the ground near the tram and Christopher Campbell standing behind her. According to police reports, Christopher Campbell was loudly shouting and cursing at passersby and tram passengers and was actively trying to start a fight with one of the tram caboose observers.
The OCPD officer positioned himself between Campbell and the tram operator and attempted to calm him, telling him the police were there to investigate the tram’s alleged collision with his wife. However, Campbell continued an expletive-laced tirade against the police and everyone else on the crowded section of Boardwalk on a busy late July evening including “you [expletive deleted] ran us over.”
According to police reports, Lydia Campbell attempted to calm her husband, saying “Just be quiet,” and “Stop acting that way or you’re going to get locked up doing that,” according to police reports. The OCPD officer also told Campbell to stop shouting because of all the families with children around.
However, Campbell continued his tirade and even evoked his perceived rights, saying “First Amendment” and “the ACLU says I can say whatever the [expletive delete] I want.” According to police reports, the officer observed several families around that section of the Boardwalk extension to the fishing pier and they were visibly disturbed by Campbell’s words and actions. Nonetheless, he continued the tirade, shouting “I know my [expletive deleted] rights” and “ACLU mother [expletive deleted] and “first amendment.”
According to police reports, the officer advised Campbell the First Amendment did not give him the right to disturb everyone else in the public’s peace. Lydia Campbell also tried to intercede again, reportedly saying “Shut up,” and “You’re going to go to jail and they are not even here for you.”
Campbell then said, “why is no one investigating this?” referring to the alleged tram accident. The officer told Campbell that is what he was trying to do. The officer then asked Lydia Campbell for her identification so he could start investigating the tram incident but Christopher Campbell reportedly said, “I’m not [expletive deleted] giving it to you,” and “I don’t trust the [expletive deleted] cops.”
The officer again asked for Lydia Campbell’s ID, to which Christopher Campbell reportedly shouted, “You don’t know the Constitution. You’re violating my [expletive deleted] First Amendment rights. I’m calling the ACLU.”
When Campbell continued to shout and curse at everyone walking by on the crowded Boardwalk despite the officer’s warnings not to do so, the officer attempted to place Campbell under arrest for disturbing the peace. The officer attempted to handcuff Campbell, who resisted and shouted. “No, I’m not. You have no authority over me. I know my rights. First Amendment. ACLU.”
According to police reports, Campbell grabbed onto the Boardwalk railing and continued to resist the officer’s attempt to take him into custody. By now, a Maryland State Police trooper arrived on the scene and attempted to help the OCPD officer gain control over Campbell.
When Campbell continued to resist, the OCPD officer aimed his conductive energy weapon (CEW), or Taser, at Campbell’s lower abdomen and warned him he would utilize it if Campbell did not comply. According to police reports, the officer warned Campbell two or three times before deploying the Taser. Campbell was not subdued by the tasing and continued to fight with the officer, who were able to throw him to the ground.
The OCPD officer had to punch Campbell in the side of his face with a closed fist, but Campbell was able to get back to his feet and continued to fight with the OCPD officer and the MSP trooper, who pinned him against the Boardwalk railing. A second OCPD officer who had arrived to assist deployed a second Taser shot into Campbell, who then fell to the ground and was handcuffed. Campbell was charged with disturbing the peace and resisting arrest. During a search incident to the arrest, an assisted opening knife was located in Campbell’s pants pocket and weapon possession charges were tacked on.
Meanwhile, a full report on the tram’s collision with Lydia Campbell was filed and an investigation is ongoing. Ocean City EMS arrived on the scene but Lydia Campbell refused medical treatment.