Beating Suspect Will Be Tried As Adult

OCEAN CITY — One of three suspects charged in the beating and robbery of a man in Ocean City in June will face trial on first-degree assault and other charges after a motion to transfer his case to juvenile court was denied.

Jason Guzman, now 18, of Parkesburg, Pa., was one of three suspects charged in the serious beating of another man in a resort parking lot in June. Guzman, who was 17 at the time of the incident, filed a motion this week to reverse his case back to juvenile court. However, the motion was denied, and Guzman will now face trial as an adult. His trial has been set for Jan. 10.

Meanwhile, one of the other suspects, Patrick Nolan, 21, also of Parkesburg, pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy to commit assault and was sentenced to 10 years, all but five of which was suspended. A third suspect, Nicole Yake, 19, of Parkseburg, whose alleged false rape claim sparked the attack, is set to appear for trial in February.

On June 12, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers arrested Guzman and Nolan for their roles in the beating and robbery of another man. Guzman was charged with first-degree assault, while Nolan was charged with robbery, second-degree assault, theft and malicious destruction of property.

Following the incident, OCPD detectives interviewed Yake, who told police the male victim allegedly beaten and robbed by Guzman and Nolan had raped her at a party in a bathroom.

Yake then changed her story and told detectives the victim threw her onto a bed and began choking her in front of everyone at the party including Guzman and Nolan. During an interview following the incident, Yake told police she had videoed the ensuing assault on the victim with her cell phone and provided the phone and a consent form for it to be searched.

OCPD detectives were able to find the video of the beating and robbery of the victim. According to police reports, Yake was sitting in a parked car next to the area where the assault occurred. The video also shows the victim on the ground in a fetal position unable to defend himself while Nolan and Guzman kick his face and stomp on his head multiple times, according to police reports.

The video reportedly shows Guzman and Nolan stop beating the victim long enough to go through his pockets and take items from him including money, a necklace and a belt. According to police reports, the video then shows the two suspects continue attacking the victim.

Following the June 12 incident, the victim was transported to the hospital where he was treated for a laceration on the side of his head that required six staples, a concussion, broken nose, severe bruising to his right eye and multiple abrasions on his head, face, neck, hands and arms.

According to police reports, the audio accompanying the cell phone video reveals Yake was laughing during the attack on the victim. A search of the cell phone data also revealed a text message thread between Yake and Nolan. According to police reports, Nolan texted Yake “record this right now,” and “we ‘bout down him,” according to police reports.

Yake later told police after speaking with her mother she now knew that she had used the word rape inappropriately. Yake told police she did not know what rape really meant and that she meant to say she was sexually assaulted by the victim, according to police reports.

Ultimately, Yake admitted the victim did not sexually assault her or choke her in any way leading up to the assault and robbery of the victim. When asked why she told police she had been raped, which was the catalyst for the assault on the victim by Nolan and Guzman, she told officers she was drunk, according to police reports.

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.