SNOW HILL — A Columbia, Md. man, arrested in June after stabbing another man in a downtown convenience store, pleaded guilty last week to second-degree assault and was sentenced to three years in jail, all but one of which was then suspended.
Just after midnight on June 9, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to the 9th Street Beer and Wine store in reference to a report of several individuals who were fighting inside the store, but prior to the officers’ arrival, it was learned the combatants had already fled the area on foot. However, around the same time the officers received a call from the staff of a nearby Boardwalk hotel that there were three African-American males in the lobby, one of which was bleeding from his face and legs.
The officers arrived and called for EMTs and began interviewing the victim, who told police he had been jumped by three men inside the beer and wine market on 9th Street. The victim said during the fight he had sustained wounds to his legs, which were bleeding profusely, and that he believed he had been stabbed multiple times.
According to police reports, OCPD officers observed a roughly one-inch puncture wound on the victim’s upper left thigh and a one-inch puncture wound on his right thigh along with a large laceration on his chin, which was bleeding profusely. One of the victim’s friends was treating the bleeding with a towel.
The victim was transported to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury. OCPD officers then went back to the store and interviewed an employee who told police the victim entered the store and asked the employee to hide him because three men were trying to jump him. The store employee said three men then entered the store and began attacking the victim, each striking him numerous times as he fell to the floor. The store employee was able to take cell phone pictures of the three suspects as they attacked the victim and provide the pictures to the police. The store employee said the three suspects then fled the store and the victim was left behind, bleeding profusely from apparent stab wounds.
The OCPD officers observed one of the suspects in the cell phone pictures wearing blue jeans, gray sneakers and a gray hoodie with cheetah-print boxers hanging out of his pants. The suspect was later identified as Wilmot Hage, 19. Around 2:50 a.m., or nearly three hours after the attack, an officer was patrolling in the area of 9th Street and Baltimore Avenue when he observed Hage walking up the sidewalk.
When questioned, Hage told police he had been involved in the fight earlier in the beer and wine store and when the officer produced the store employee’s pictures, he admitted that was him in the photographs. Hage told police the victim had knocked out his friend “Moot” earlier in the night and he and his two friends had been actively looking for the victim and seeking retribution.
Hage told police he punched the victim at least four times while he was on the ground before running away, but did not admit stabbing the victim.
Another OCPD officer interviewed the doctor treating the victim at the hospital who confirmed the puncture wounds on his legs appeared to have been caused by a knife. Based on the evidence, Hage was charged with first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and malicious destruction of property for the damage in the store. Last Thursday, Hage pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was sentenced to three years in jail, all but one year of which was then suspended. He was also placed on supervised probation for 18 months following his release.