Man Charged In Serious Beating; Victim Could Lose Right Eye

OCEAN CITY — An Indian Head, Md. man was charged with first-degree assault last week after a deeper investigation into an alleged attack back on July 24 when the victim was beaten to the point he may lose an eye.

Around 2:50 a.m. back on July 24, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to a restaurant in the area of 18th Street to check on the welfare of a male who was bleeding badly from his face. An OCPD officer arrived and found the victim holding a white rag covered in blood up to his face. The officer noted in the report the victim had swollen eyebrows and cheeks on both sides of his face, a cut above his left eye and a laceration over his right eye. The victim told police he could not see out of his right eye at all. In his report, the officer noted it appeared the victim’s eye was misshapen.

The OCPD officer took an initial report from the victim, who was then transported to Peninsula Regional Medical Center by Ocean City EMS. An OCPD detective reviewed the initial report and interviewed the victim to obtain a more detailed statement. The victim told the detective he had been on a municipal bus and had gotten off around 17th Street.

The victim told police two younger males approached him and asked if he could get them marijuana. The victim told police he took money from the younger men, estimated at around $40, and then walked around the building before having second thoughts and returning the money. The victim told police he then left the area and went to a Boardwalk bench to lie down. The victim told police the next thing he remembered he was getting assaulted by the same two younger men who had approached him about getting them marijuana.

One of the two alleged assailants was identified as Samuel Nichols, 26, of Indian Head, Md., and the OCPD detective interviewed Nichols about the incident six days later on July 30. Nichols told police he and another man met the victim on the bus. When they got off the bus at 17th Street, Nichols said he sat on a bench to count the money he had earned as a server at a restaurant. Nichols told police the victim snatched his money from his hands and walked off, and would not return the money despite Nichols’ pleas to do so.

In his statement, Nichols told police the victim swung at him and struck him a few times, but that he was not injured because the victim was intoxicated. The OCPD detective also interviewed the third man involved in the incident, who told a different version than the other two.

The witness said he got off the bus with Nichols and the victim at 17th Street and there was a conversation with Nichols and the victim about getting drugs for Nichols. At some point during the conversation, the victim told Nichols to give him the money and meet him around the corner and that he would get what Nichols wanted.

The witness told police Nichols gave the victim money and then wanted to follow him. The witness told police he and Nichols followed the victim on a parallel street. According to police reports, the witness told the detective the next thing he saw was Nichols on top of the victim beating “the crap out of him.” The witness told police the victim gave up after taking the beating and Nichols took money out of the victim’s pockets and they left the area.

According to police reports, the victim’s treatment is ongoing and he has been told by doctors he will likely lose his right eye. He has also consulted with doctors about having his eye removed and replaced with a glass eye. Based on the witness testimony and the evidence in the case, Nichols this week was formally charged with first-degree assault. As of midweek, he was still being held at the Worcester County Jail on a $75,000 bond.

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.