Suspect Jumps In Bay After Hotel Barricade Incident

OCEAN CITY — An Elkridge, Md. man was arrested on malicious destruction of property and false imprisonment charges last weekend after allegedly trashing a hotel room in a rage and barricading the door to keep his girlfriend from leaving before jumping in the bay to hide from police.

Around 2:20 a.m. last Saturday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a hotel at 56th Street for a reported domestic assault in progress. Upon arrival, OCPD officers could hear a woman screaming from an unknown room, according to police reports. A hotel employee told the officers he had called the police because he could hear a woman screaming and heard objects being broken in unit 202.

OCPD officer approached unit 202 and reportedly could hear a woman sobbing and man growling inside. When the officers knocked on the door and announced themselves as police, the hotel room door was immediately slammed with a large object that caused the door and frame to shake.

The officers reportedly heard the woman sobbing and the man growling as another large object hit the door, according to police reports. The OCPD officer decided at that point they needed immediate entry into the room and instructed to hotel employee to unlock the door with a master key. The OCPD officer drew his electronic control weapon, or taser, and tried to enter the room but found it blocked with several large pieces of furniture.

The OCPD officers used the weight of their bodies to force the door open enough to enter the room. The officers entered in found the room to be in disarray. Two tables in front of the door were broken, a large flower pot was broken, two large bed posts were broken and were blocking the door and several other glass objects including two lamps were broken on the floor.

According to police reports, the officer also turned to the corner of the room and saw a female victim sitting on the floor completely naked and crying hysterically. When the officer asked the victim were the suspect was, she reportedly pointed toward the deck. Officers then went to the deck and observed a naked male later identified as Morgan Morris, 26, of Elkridge, Md., in the bay directly beneath the second-floor balcony.

The responding officers called for back-up officers to respond to assist with getting Morris out of the bay while they kept a visual on his from the balcony. Another officer was eventually able to get Morris out of the bay and he was taken into custody without further incident.

The officers questioned the victim, who was still crying hysterically and was still naked. After getting her some clothes, she reportedly told police the couple had been dating and she had come to Ocean City with Morris for the weekend. She told police the couple had gone to the Boardwalk in the afternoon, came back to the hotel together and then went back out to a mid-town bar.

She told police everything was fine throughout the day, but when the couple returned to the hotel, Morris allegedly went into a rage and that she had never seen him so angry. The victim also told police Morris had broken off two large bedposts and had thrown them toward the door. The victim said Morris had thrown all the tables and bed frames in front of the door before the police arrived to keep her from leaving.

The officers and hotel staff took everything that was damaged or destroyed in the room and estimated the value at around $5,000. Morris was arrested and charged with assault, malicious destruction of property and resisting arrest.

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.