Man Found Guilty In Choking Incident

SNOW HILL — A Columbia, Md. man, arrested in June for choking a woman nearly to death in a cab, was found guilty by a Worcester County Circuit Court jury Wednesday on three counts of assault and was sentenced to 18 months in jail.

Around 1:45 a.m. on June 9, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to a reported assault incident in the area of 23rd Street. Upon arrival, officer observed a taxi cab stopped in the bus lane with a female passenger unconscious in the front seat. The taxi driver told police he had picked up the female victim and another man identified as Roberto Brathwaite, 37, of Columbia, Md. at a midtown nightclub.

The taxi driver told police he observed Brathwaite choking the victim with his hands around her neck from the rear passenger seat until she passed out. The cabbie said Brathwaite stopped long enough to punch the driver in the arms several times, causing him to pull over in the bus lane. The cab driver said Brathwaite then began choking the victim, who was still unconscious, again until police arrived.

Based on the evidence, Brathwaite was arrested and charged with two counts of second-degree assault. While another OCPD officer was on the scene to assist, Brathwaite allegedly tried to bite the officer on his left arm and an additional charge of second-degree assault on a police officer was tacked on.

On Wednesday, a Worcester County Circuit Court jury found Brathwaite guilty on all three counts of second-degree assault. He was sentenced to 18 months in the Department of Corrections.

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.