Thrown Bottle Leads To Fight, Multiple Charges

OCEAN CITY — Four people were arrested on assault charges, including one for brandishing a metal softball bat, after an incident last weekend that began with a plastic water bottle being thrown at a passing vehicle.

Around 1 a.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer on patrol in the downtown area observed a plastic water bottle fly through the air and hit a moving vehicle in the area of 4th Street and Philadelphia Avenue. The vehicle came to a screeching halt and the two occupants, a female later identified as Hannah Roney, 18, of Millsboro, and a male, later identified as Deontrez Lofland, 22, of Millsboro, got out and confronted two men on the street who had allegedly thrown the bottle.

According to police reports, Roney went to the trunk and retrieved a 31-inch metal softball bat. Roney and Lofland confronted two men on the sidewalk later identified as Justin Gullion, 37, of Ocean City, and Andrew Founds, 33, of Berlin, and the combatants assumed fighting stances. According to police reports, the OCPD officer observed Gullion strike Lofland on the left cheek with a closed fist. Lofland countered by striking Gullion in the face with something in a white plastic bag that turned out to be a 24-ounce can of Twisted Tea.

The OCPD officer then observed Roney, who was a few feet away, raise the softball bat over her head as if she was going to strike Gullion. The officer ordered Roney to drop the bat several times and she complied. The four combatants stopped fighting. The incident created a scene with several onlookers stopping to observe, according to police reports.

Roney was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault, affray, disorderly conduct, possession of a concealed dangerous weapon and possession of a dangerous weapon with intent to injure. When police attempted to arrest Lofland, he resisted and would not allow officers to handcuff him.

After being warned a Taser would be deployed if he did not stop resisting, Lofland reportedly told the officers “you are going to have to taze me [expletive deleted],” according to police reports.

The officer then activated his conducted electrical weapon and delivered a drive stun to the center of Lofland’s back and he complied. Lofland was ultimately charged with second-degree assault, affray, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest along with a drug charge for an illegal narcotic pill found on his person. Gullion and Founds were each charged with assault, affray and disorderly conduct.

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.