Sentence In Family Knife Threat

Sentence In Family Knife Threat
Alfred Flowers

OCEAN CITY — A Greenbelt, Md. man, arrested last May after threatening a family with young children with a knife during a fight in an uptown restaurant, pleaded guilty this week to second-degree assault and was sentenced to three years, all but five days of which were suspended.

Around 6:15 a.m. last May 28, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to the Denny’s restaurant at the Comfort Inn near the Gold Coast Mall for a reported fight in progress. Ocean City dispatchers informed officers one of the suspects involved was threatening a family with a knife.

OCPD officers arrived on scene and met with the victims, including a man, a woman and their three children ages 16, 10 and one month, who were the only patrons left in the restaurant after the incident. According to police reports, the male victim told police two men were at the restaurant counter ordering food and were dropping expletives loudly and continually.

The male victim told police the two suspects continued to use vulgar language around his family and that he repeatedly asked one of the suspect, later identified as Alfred Flowers, 31, of Greenbelt, to stop. The male victim told police at first, Flowers apologized to the family, but then turned around to the waitress and yelled loudly “where the [expletive deleted] is my food?”

The male victim told police he again asked Flowers and his companion, later identified as Semere Habte, 31, of Dunn Loring, Va., to stop using that language around his family and to pull up their pants. The male victim said Flowers then pulled out a knife and unfolded it so that the blade was pointed toward him and his family and began to threaten them verbally. According to police reports, Flowers launched into an expletive-laced tirade at the family as he advanced toward them and continuously said “watch your kids.”

The male victim told police he was about three feet away from Flowers, but Flowers was closer to the female victim and the one-month-old child. At that point, the male victim picked up a chair to use as a weapon and Flowers stopped his advance and started to back up.

The male victim told police he backed Flowers up to the front door of the restaurant at which point the suspect fled into a hotel that was attached to the eatery. The victim told police he feared for the life of his family and that once Flowers had fled the restaurant, his 10-year-old daughter ran to the restroom to urinate because of her level of fear.

Upon arrival, OCPD officers observed a male suspect later identified as Flowers dropping a knife as has was fleeing toward his hotel room on the fifth floor. Flowers refused to exit the hotel or make contact with the OCPD officers on scene. The OCPD Quick Response Team was activated and evacuated the fifth floor of the hotel as a precaution for the safety of the guests.

Eventually, Flowers and another male, identified as Habte, surrendered to police and were placed under arrest. During the investigation, it was determined Flowers and Habte were suspects in the theft of a cell phone from the resort’s other Denny’s restaurant at 62nd Street earlier the same morning.

Flowers was charged with first- and second-degree assault and possession of a deadly weapon with intent to injure. On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was sentenced to three years in jail, all but five days of which was then suspended. He was also placed on supervised probation for three years. In August, Habte pleaded guilty to theft under $100 and the disposition of his case is not known.

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.