OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania woman was arrested on assault and other charges last weekend after jumping the fence of a Boardwalk business after it was closed and scrapping with employees attempting to get her off the property.
Around 11 p.m. last Friday, multiple Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a reported disorderly individual on the Boardwalk near the Hooter’s restaurant on 5th Street. When officers arrived, they observed Tajaee Johnson, 19, of Wilmerding, Pa., actively throwing punches at restaurant staff.
Johnson was still fighting with employees when an OCPD officer was able to wrap his arms around her waist, lift her up and throw her to the ground where she was placed under arrest. The officer then escorted Johnson to an area near 5th Street and sat her on the ground. According to police reports, Johnson was still screaming and yelling and kicking her feet and continued to try to stand up when she was told by police to stay seated.
Another OCPD officer was instructed to get a violent person restraint device, which only incensed Johnson further, according to police reports. Johnson was ultimately subdued and was carried to a transport vehicle for transportation to the Public Safety Building for processing.
OCPD officers interviewed the bar staff to determine what had happened including the manager. The manager told police the restaurant was already closed and the gate to the outside seating area was locked. The manager told police he out to make sure the outside area was clean and secure for the night when Johnson jumped the fence.
The manager told police Johnson was asking for the bathroom, but he told her the restaurant was closed and did not have a public bathroom. The manager went to unlock the gate to let Johnson back off the property, but when he turned back around, Johnson was heading toward the restaurant, according to police reports.
The manager told police he went back toward the restaurant and with the help of other employees attempted to escort Johnson off the property. During the attempt to get Johnson off the property, the manager and one employee were pushed by Johnson, another employee was punched in the jaw by Johnson’s closed fist and yet another employee was punched in the eye with a closed fist by Johnson, according to police reports. The other employees’ version of the events corroborated the manager’s story.
However, two people claiming to be friends of Johnson told a distinctly different version. One witness told police the group was walking south on the Boardwalk when Johnson said she had to go to the bathroom and jumped the fence at Hooter’s and was greeted quickly by the manager.
According to the witness, Johnson attempted to go into the restaurant to use the bathroom when she was greeted at the door by six males who viciously beat her. According to Johnson’s friend, the six males then pushed Johnson and threw her back over the fence. However, OCPD officers viewed security footage from the restaurant, which matched the story given by the restaurant manager and the employees.
Based on the testimony and video footage, Johnson was charged with multiple counts of second-degree assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.