Assault Charge Filed In Downtown Street Incident

OCEAN CITY — A Delmar man faces first-degree assault and other charges after allegedly knocking out his girlfriend on a downtown resort street and causing her to have multiple seizures.

Around 9 p.m. last Wednesday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a reported fight in progress on Caroline Street. When officers arrived, they observed a female victim unconscious on the ground. According to police reports, the victim began to have a seizure while her children attempted to hold her steady and protect her.

The victim’s children identified her attacker as Joshua Cole, 39, of Delmar. The witnesses told police Cole had left the area and had been heading east in the direction of the Boardwalk. One of the female witnesses told police Cole was upset and got close to her as he was yelling at her.

At that point, the victim’s son interceded and attempted to pull Cole back from the girl. According to witness statements, Cole grabbed the son by the throat and pushed him to the ground. The female victim then got out of a vehicle in an attempt to get Cole off of her son, according to police reports.

Cole allegedly punched the female victim in the side of the head, knocking her unconscious. The unconscious female victim fell, striking her head on the ground, according to police reports. At that point, the female victim began having her first seizure. Cole then reportedly walked away in the direction of the Boardwalk.

Ocean City Emergency Services (EMS) arrived on the scene and eventually transported the victim to Peninsula Regional Medical Center. However, before the victim was transported, OCPD officers reported she had between five and 10 more seizures while EMS were evaluating and treating her.

The victim’s son told police Cole was screaming at one female in the group to the point he believed Cole was going to hit her. The victim’s son told police he attempted to pull Cole away from the girl when Cole choked him, threw him to the ground and sat on him. At that point, the female victim attempted to intercede when Cole punched her in the head, causing her to fall to the ground. The victim’s other son corroborated that version of the incident.

Cole arrived back at the scene and was interviewed for his version. According to police reports, Cole admitted he was arguing with the girl when the victim’s son grabbed him from behind. He voluntarily admitted grabbing the male victim by the neck and putting him on the ground, but told police “when I got up, the [female victim] was laying on the ground,” and “I don’t know how she got there, but I didn’t punch her,” according to police reports. It’s important to note Cole reportedly made those statements without ever being asked if he had punched the female victim, according to police reports.

The female victim’s 13-year-old son who was on the scene provided police with a written statement outlining what transpired and his testimony was identical to the versions provided by the others in the group.

Based on the witness and victim testimony and other evidence, Cole was arrested and charged with one count of first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault. He was ordered to be held without bond. A preliminary hearing has been set for Sept. 19.

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.