One-Year Jail Term For Knife Threat

SNOW HILL — A Salisbury man, arrested last February after allegedly threatening a female victim with a knife and threatening to throw the victim and himself off a resort hotel balcony, was sentenced last week to five years in jail, all but one year of which was suspended.

Early in the morning last Feb. 4, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a reported domestic incident at a hotel on 21st Street. Hotel guests had reported a woman running toward an elevator and screaming for help. Front desk staff went to the suspected unit on the 12th floor and heard a man and woman arguing, according to police.

OCPD officers arrived and interviewed the female victim. The victim said she and her alleged assailant, later identified as Shawn Flynn, 54, of Salisbury, had been consuming alcohol throughout the Super Bowl and began arguing around 11:30 p.m. By 2:30 a.m., the verbal argument escalated when Flynn allegedly produced a knife and began waving it around, almost striking the victim, according to police reports.

When the victim attempted to use the hotel phone to call for help, Flynn slapped the hotel phone from the victim’s grasp and cut the cord with the knife. When the victim grabbed her cell phone from the night stand, Flynn allegedly grabbed it from her and threw it on a table in the room. According to police reports, Flynn told the victim he would throw himself and her off the balcony, which is when the victim “started to fear for my life,” according to police reports.

When the victim attempted to leave the room, Flynn reportedly blocked the door and would not let her exit. The victim did eventually get out of the room and attempted to get to the elevators, but Flynn reportedly followed and grabbed the victim by the hair and arms and dragged her back into the hotel room.

According to police reports, the victim had bruises on her arm consistent with her story. Officers also located her damaged cell phone and the knife Flynn allegedly wielded during the altercation. Officers also observed the hotel phone cord had been cut with a knife. Flynn was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault and malicious destruction of property.

Last week, Flynn entered an Alford plea to second-degree assault. In an Alford plea, a defendant does not plead guilty, but acknowledges the state has enough evidence to prosecute the case. Flynn was sentenced to five years with all but one suspended. He was also placed on probation for three years upon his release.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

Alternative Text

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.